Alisson in the end might have in the end come to Liverpool’s notice some other way, through a South American scout or failing that when he moved to Europe, but that’s not how he actually did. Instead, he was recommended to the club by a former player.
Instead, he was recommended to the club by Brazilian goalkeeper Alexander Doni, on the books at Anfield for just two seasons—with the second season spent on personal leave after he suffered a heart attack during an off-season medical in the summer of 2012.
“When I saw him play, I immediately recommended him to John [Achterberg] and tried to get him signed,” Doni said about brining Alisson to the club’s attention. ”I explained to John that he was a very skilful player and that he would soon play for the national team.”
That was back in 2013, when after a year spent on leave in Brazil, Doni had returned officially to rejoin his first club, Botafogo, for a final season before he retired. It was also the season that saw a young Alisson Becker win the starting job at Porto Alegre club Inter.
Alisson would go on to play three more years at Inter before moving to Roma for two, and Liverpool had been tracking him for some time thanks to Doni’s recommendation—making them comfortable signing him after just one season as Roma’s full time starter.
”The first time I saw him playing for Inter, I knew he had what it takes to succeed in the Premier League,” Doni added. “I am very impressed with how quick he was able to adapt to the way the Premier League is played and how quick he obtained success in England.
”This only shows what a great player and person he is. Besides being an overall complete player, I really like how he is able to maintain calm and control.”