With Virgil van Dijk, Jordan Henderson, and James Milner all starting on the bench for Wednesday night’s dead rubber match between Liverpool and FC Porto, the captaincy went to goalkeeper Alisson Becker for the first time since he joined the Reds.
“It’s a pleasure, an honour for me, being captain of this team,” the Brazilian shot stopper said following Liverpool’s 2-0 victory. “The players did a vote for this, for extra captains.
“We have an amazing captain, but we have a lot of leaders on the team who are not wearing the band on the arm. But many leaders that play important roles—myself, Sadio, Mo, all the players. It’s really important to have all these players on the team who can [lead] and push the players forward when it’s needed.”
With Liverpool having secured first place in the consensus most difficult Champions League group after just four rounds, there was as expected some rotation and a slight drop-off in their performance levels on Wednesday.
Still, despite that they maybe weren’t at their all out best, the players acquitted themselves well with a solid and composed performance, and in the end took their record to a perfect five wins out of five.
“In a really difficult group, that you can do this—have five wins—is a really important thing,” Alisson added. “The performance we showed tonight as well was something really good.
“Mixing players, giving minutes for the players who are not playing all the time, this is really important for us for this season, for the things we want to achieve. It’s good to count on everyone.”