World Cup: Belgium's Thibaut Courtois says he 'never mocked' Jordan Pickford

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World Cup 2018: I did not mock Jordan Pickford's height - Thibaut Courtois
England v Sweden
Date: Saturday, 7 July (15:00 BST). Venue: Samara Arena, Samara.
Coverage: Watch the game live on BBC One, the BBC Sport website and app. Listen live on 5 live, with live text commentary online.

Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois says he "never mocked" England's Jordan Pickford's height after the two sides met in the World Cup group stages.

Pickford was criticised for conceding Adnan Januzaj's winning goal in their match on 28 June, which the Everton man got a hand to put could not keep out.

Chelsea's Courtois is reported to have said Pickford is "10cm smaller than me" and he "would have caught" the shot.

Pickford responded by saying: "I don't care if I'm not the biggest keeper."

Speaking after saving a penalty in the last-16 shootout win over Colombia, Pickford told BBC Radio live: "I've been criticised for going with my top hand, but as long as you save it, that's all that counts.

"I might be young but I have got good mental strength and experience and I used that today."

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World Cup 2018: England 0-1 Belgium highlights

But speaking after Belgium's quarter-final win over Brazil, Courtois moved to explain the comments calling his Premier League rival "a great goalkeeper".

He said: "This thing about Jordan - I want to say and clarify it because I heard a lot of stuff. I never mocked his height, I want to make that clear, because I would never mock the height of a goalkeeper.

"I only said that, because he got a touch, I would have saved it because I am 15cm taller, but I never mocked his height. He is a great goalkeeper. I want to make that clear."

England face Sweden in the quarter-finals of the World Cup on Saturday.

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