How big a deal is new Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker? – UEFA Champions League – News
Alisson Becker’s move from Roma to Liverpool has been confirmed; what is there to say about the Brazilian goalkeeper?
What they say
“Alisson is a surprise only for those who haven’t seen him before. What really strikes me is how he deals with dangerous situations so efficiently. That gives his team a lot of confidence.”
Gianluigi Buffon, Paris goalkeeper
“Alisson? I thought it was crazy to spend so much money for a goalkeeper [€8m], but I was wrong. He is a phenomenon.”
Daniele De Rossi, Roma midfielder
“Alisson is a true professional and a true man. He deserves all the praise he is receiving.”
Luciano Spalletti, former Roma coach
“This guy is a phenomenon. He is the No1 of No1s. He is the Messi of goalkeepers, because he has the same mentality as Messi. He is a goalkeeper who can define an era… The way he behaves in the goal, he reminds me of Dino Zoff. I’d also compare him to Michel Preud’Homme, who had the class of someone born to be a goalkeeper.”
Roberto Negrisolo, former Roma goalkeeping coach
International: 31 appearances
UEFA club competition: 23 appearances
European domestic competition: 41 appearances
What you might not know
• His father and grandfather were both amateur goalkeepers in his home town, Novo Hamburgo (translation: New Hamburg), and he was understudy to his older brother Muriel at Internacional. Muriel is now in Europe with Portuguese side Belenenses, and he and Alisson remain virtual rivals on computer football: “I play online against my brother all the time,” said Alisson.
• He has already played at Anfield twice – in Roma’s 5-2 semi-final loss to Liverpool last season, and a 2-0 friendly win for Brazil against Croatia a few weeks later. He also knows the Reds’ Roberto Firmino from Brazil and Mohamed Salah from his time at Roma, and said of the Egyptian: “Messi is the strongest player I’ve played against, but now Momo [Salah] is feared like him.”
• If he gets time off, he likes nothing better than to sit back with his rod and tackle. “I love fishing,” he said. “When I was younger I always used to go with my dad and my friends. Whenever I go on holiday to Brazil, I try to take three or four days to go fishing with my mates.” He and Lazio’s Ciro Immobile both angled regularly at Fregene – a coastal town not far from Rome.
• Alisson’s other hobbies include watching tennis (fellow Brazilian Gustavo ‘Guga’ Kuerten is his favourite player) and playing guitar. His favourite music? Rock, but also Sertanejo – a sort of Brazilian country music – and Pagode, a sub-genre of Samba.
• He has kept seven clean sheets in his 23 UEFA club competition games, and was picked out as the star man on his UEFA Champions League debut – a 0-0 draw against Atlético Madrid in September 2017. UEFA.com’s report read: “Superb Alisson Becker saves in the first half from Antoine Griezmann and in the second period to deny both Luciano Vietto and Saúl Ñíguez.”
• Named in last season’s UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season, he was not always set to be a big success; but for a late growth spurt he would never have made his breakthrough at Internacional, and his temperament was not always the best. He said: “If you had sent a scout to write a report about me as a kid, I suspect it would have looked something like this: ‘Alisson Becker: goalkeeper, seven years old. Short. Angry. Cries often.'”
• He is keeping Manchester City’s Ederson out of the Brazil team – for now – but the competition is fierce. “I’m working harder thanks to him,” Alisson said. “Our competition is for the good of Seleção fans. The national team is in safe hands for the next few years.”
• He is married to a doctor and the couple have a young daughter, Helena. “My wife Natalia left Brazil five months after working hard to graduate just to be with me,” Alisson said. “That meant a lot to me … If you don’t feel well at home, it’s better to be living with a doctor than a model.”
• Born in Novo Hamburgo, a city reportedly founded by German immigrants in the 18th century, Alisson’s father, José Agostinho, speaks German, as does his grandmother. “In my region, there are plenty of reminders of Germany: the architecture, the culture, the holidays – we even have a huge Oktoberfest,” said Alisson, who, despite being nicknamed ‘the German’ when at Roma, speaks no German himself.
What he says
“I like everything about my position. I enjoy putting the work in, not just in games but during training – I love that. I’ve always liked being a goalkeeper ever since I was young. My brother is a goalie too and when I was younger I loved going to watch him train with my parents.”
“I prefer to be at home with friends and family instead of living it up on the dancefloor – that’s never really been for me.”
“I like to show my ability on the field. I’m not one to show off with words. I’m a calm goalkeeper and above all I’ve got a real desire to win. When I get on the pitch I give everything for the team, everything for the shirt.”
“Hopefully I can play a part in the history being created here [at Liverpool], win titles and be a part of the project that has been developed here in the past few years so we can see Liverpool rise once again.”