Do you ever do that thing that I find myself doing sometimes? I’ll be at Starbucks drinking my latte or driving to work or going for a jog, and suddenly it’ll hit me all over again: Alisson Becker is our goalkeeper. Like, he’s ours. We’ve got him.
On Saturday, the Reds will be playing a Champions League final, and it will be Alisson Becker protecting their goal.
As good as the Brazilian has been this season — and by anyone’s measure he’s been really, really freaking good — first team goalkeeping coach John Achterberg believes that the 26-year-old is only going to get better.
“If you have a season like he’s just had – and we still have one game to go – it’ll be hard to beat. 21 league clean sheets! He had a great season and his level was probably one of the best in the world, so we cannot complain,” Achterberg said.
“In the Champions League, he made some massive saves for us – the Napoli save for us to get qualification for the next stage – and then in the Barca game, you cannot make any errors and he made some match-winning saves to get us the clean sheet we needed.
“Hopefully next year we can improve even further; there are always small things we can be better on. We’ve spoken to Ali about them and hopefully he can improve even further for next season. Our aim is to do it again.”
In last season’s Champions League final match, it was the goalkeeping that really let us down. So it’s safe to say that Alisson was bought last summer specifically in preparation for this eventuality, among other reasons. Alisson has shown that he, like his fellow defenders, is cool in the face of immense pressure, and, aside from the World Cup final, the Champions League final is the most high pressure game there is. Let’s hope he’s got one more clean sheet in him to see the team through.