You do get what you pay for, it would seem. Anyone who has observed Jürgen Klopp and the Liverpool recruitment teams phenomenal transfer record in recent years will have known that the then-record £56m paid by the Reds paid to prise goalkeeper Alisson Becker away from Roma in the summer was a significant statement of belief.
Despite having played only a single season of top flight European football before moving to Anfield, the talent dubbed the Messi of Keepers was a player marked to one day be counted among the very best in the game.
In Goal.coms annual ranking of the best 50 players in the world, the goalkeeping phenom known as O Gato in his native homeland of Brazil has been dubbed the best in the game, beating out the likes of Atletico Madrids Jan Oblak, Man Uniteds David De Gea and Real Madrids Thibaut Courtois.
After supplanting both Wojciech Szczesny at the club level with Roma and Manchester City keeper Ederson for the Brazilian national team between the sticks last season, the 26-year-old together a stellar campaign that saw him star for club and country.
17 clean sheets in the Serie A over the course of the 2017-18 season, in addition to going 323 minutes without conceding in the World Cup in Russia and shutting out all comers at home in the Champions League prior to the semifinal 4-2 win over Liverpool, earned him plaudits throughout the footballing world.
Klopp was apparently one of those won over, with the Reds fending off interest from the likes of Real Madrid to bring the Brazilian to Merseyside. While there has been an adjustment period to life in the rough-and-tumble Premier League—one goal in particular conceded against Leicester City comes to mind—Alissons quality has been evident, assuring that the gloves are in secure hands at Anfield for the first time in years.
7 hours ago Neither of world's best goalkeepers play in Premier League, according to Alisson 7 Shares Reuben Pinder Alisson rates the pair highly. Ranking goalkeepers is extremely difficult. Such a unique role in a football team, that relies on others to do their jobs well more than any other, it can be a challenge to definitely rank one keeper above another.
Obviously, David De Gea is better than Wayne Hennessey, that much is a given, but when it comes to separating the select few elite keepers, things get trickier.
The role of the goalkeeper has changed; theyre now asked to do more sweeping, be more comfortable receiving the ball under pressure and passing short rather than getting rid at the first opportunity. Some teams play with a high line, some play with a deep block. This all affects how a goalkeeper looks to viewers, regardless of their innate ability.
Liverpools Alisson is considered one of the worlds best, due to his strengths in the aforementioned areas, particularly his distribution. But there are at least two other keepers in world football whom he considers to be superior, and neither of them play in the Premier League.
In a recent interview with Goal, Alisson was asked which goalkeepers around the world he looked up to.
“I always liked to watch goalkeepers with their styles,” he said. “Their strengths and flaws, to learn something and improve.”
“Since childhood I always looked up to Taffarel, our biggest goalkeeping idol in Brazil. I always remember him in the 1994 World Cup, saving a penalty. He had technical quality, perfect positioning, he always inspired me.
“And nowadays, I like Jan Oblak, whom I follow very closely, and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, theyre both great.
Sorry Ronaldo, sorry Fellaini – the king of shithousery, José Mourinho is here to grab all of your headlines. The Football Spin with Dion Fanning, Paddy McKenna and Noz Choudry is available here, click play.