Ederson Moraes has been a goalkeeper of imperial pedigree. It’s not often that you see a Brazilian shot-stopper arriving in the Premier League and outperforming David De Gea in the Manchester derby.
A record 100 points for his club Manchester City and a champions medal in his debut season in the English league, Ederson can boast of a start only a few players would be blessed with. However, all these records weren’t good enough to guarantee Ederson a starting place in between the sticks in Russia. When it came to the biggest stage of football, Brazil coach Tite knew exactly the man whom he wanted in between the posts for his team, for him Alisson Becker was his “go to” man.
A return leg for Barcelona away at the Stadio Olimpico, a match which the Blaugrana were supposed to win with ease, courtesy the 4-1 lead they had over Roma from the first leg at Camp Nou. Things however, took a wild turn and probably produced one of the most memorable nights in the history of the Champions League as Roma overturned a 3 goal deficit. While Kostas Manolas headed in the equaliser for Roma they were almost caught cold when Pique slipped between the lines. Yet again Alisson was their to the rescue.
Afterwards, while Roma and Alisson lost out to Liverpool in the semi finals of the Champions League it was just the beginning for Alisson Becker.
In the summer of 2018, Alisson’s childhood dream came true. Growing up in Brazil while most of the kids wanted to be like Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, Alisson always wanted to be the guard in front of the goal following in the footsteps of his father and his brother. A 1-1 draw to begin with, the big custodian put in a string of 3 clean sheets and a ticket to the quarter finals. A night when Brazil was outclassed by the tactical masterclass of Roberto Martinez’s Belgium, Alisson put in another impressive display though all of it went in vain as the Selecao crashed out of World Cup.
Although Brazil were out of the World Cup it was one tournament that established Alisson as a world class keeper and soon the big guns of Europe in the likes of Real Madrid came calling. However, world class players always come with a hefty price tag and Liverpool came in to splash the cash on the big Brazilian. Alisson was Anfield-bound for a price tag of 66 million, a record broken by Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga.
It is not easy for a goalkeeper to come in and settle with ease in England. Moreover, the weight of the price tag adds to the pressure of any newbie making his way in between the sticks. A league which has seen David De Gea and Hugo Lloris dominate season after season, Alisson went off to a dream start with 3 straight clean sheets before conceding for the first time away at the King Power stadium. While De Gea, Lloris and the highly rated Kepa all conceded goals early in the season, Alisson stood tall in the Liverpool.
Liverpool could never really replace Pepe Reina with a keeper of his quality but after so many years it seemed as if they finally had found an heir to the Spaniard in so many years. And to be honest when a keeper comes from the league of Gianluigi Buffon and Pepe Reina he automatically comes in with imperial shot stopping ability and ball distribution.
With his fellow colleagues Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez, Alisson has been a part of the meanest defense in the league conceding only 6 goals and keeping 9 clean sheets out of a total of 15 games played this season. But there is something that even statistics don’t define. It’s that one crucial save that a keeper makes, a move he starts quickly with a swift goal kick or a crucial clearance he makes off the line. The job of a goal keeper might be the most thankless job in the world but sometimes it that position which wins games for a team and Alisson Becker has well and truly justified the statement.