If you ask him, new Liverpool superstar goalkeeper Alisson Becker will tell you that he’s changed a lot since his early days playing football in Brazil.
“I’ve locked myself in my room and wanted to be on my own a lot in my career, but I don’t do that any more,” he said.
“I am more mature today so I deal better with the mistakes than the many times when I locked myself away and wanted to be alone.”
That’s good news for Liverpool fans, who all let out a collective groan when Alisson made a crucial error in the game against Leicester City that cost Liverpool their first goal conceded in the Premier League. A less confident Alisson might have crumpled in the last 30 minutes of that game and allowed Leicester to earn a point, or even three, from that game. But instead, he pressed on and finished the game is laudable fashion, helping Liverpool maintain their perfect record for another game.
“But if you look at my professional history as a goalkeeper, I’m not somebody who makes many mistakes,” he said. “My game is characterised by consistency - that is what has brought me to Liverpool and helped me grow and develop.
“I like to make simple saves. I don’t make saves for the camera. If the ball is in front of me, I won’t dive. If it’s to the side of me, I will dive to the side. I like to keep it simple. My saves are not to show off or Hollywood saves for the camera.”
After the game, Alisson was humble and honest about his error, promising to improve that area of his game in the future. His efforts have been noticeable in just the handful of matches that he’s featured in since then. It’s clear he’s playing the safer and quicker pass to his defenders or down field more than he had been prior to his mistake.
“I am waiting for the centre-backs to produce an option,” he explained. “I’m waiting for the full-backs to appear as well - hoping that a space for a pass will appear at the last moment.
“That’s what happened in the Leicester game. I was waiting for that option of a pass, leaving it very late for the option to appear. It was at a time of the game when we were under pressure and I do know now that I should have taken the option of kicking the ball into the stands.
“In that situation though I was left with the only option which was to dribble and the ball held up in the grass. If it hadn’t held up in the grass, I think it would have been a successful dribble.”
No one wants Alisson to revert to smashing the long ball at the first sign of trouble, but slightly more caution mixed in with his enviable confidence and skill can only be a good thing for the Reds’ defense going forward.
Tonight he faces Liverpool’s sternest challenge in the league thus far. The Reds already fell to Chelsea midweek at home, and today they’ve traveled to Stamford Bridge to try and settle the score. With any luck, Alisson’s perfect Liverpool record will remain intact through September.