With Real Madrid on the hunt for a big-name goalkeeper this summer, Alisson’s double-header for Roma against Barcelona might be a rehearsal for the Brazilian
Alisson’s name has been strongly linked with Liverpool and Paris Saint Germain, but especially Real Madrid with a post-World Cup move being likely if not probable. Is the AS Roma goalkeeper worth all the hype, and is it the right time for the Brazilian to make the jump to Europe’s elite?
AS Roma are set to collide with FC Barcelona in the first leg of the quarter-final phase in the UEFA Champions League, with Alisson being one of the Italian side’s major hopes, if they are to achieve an upset against the Catalan giants who are considered heavy favorites.
With Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson having an excellent debut season in England, you’d think that being the Premier League leaders’ number one would be enough to warrant him a starting spot at this summer’s FIFA World Cup. It would take someone special to prevent this honor, and special is what Alisson has been over the past two seasons, for Internacional, AS Roma and Brazil’s national team.
It is healthy competition for the five-time world champions to have two excellent goalies in their mid-twenties, plying their trade at the highest level of European football, compete and challenge themselves for the betterment of the group.
Alisson is a brilliant shot-stopper, but in modern football it is important for a goalkeeper to be good with the ball at his feet, especially for sides that are reliant on build-up from the back and possession football. Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas does the job at keeping clean sheets, but he often gives away the ball cheaply instead of helping his team resist the opposition’s high-pressure and retain possession.
Alisson had made his Brazil debut back in 2015, right after Jefferson’s failure in the Copa América, followed by his blunder against Chile in Santiago, the first match of the World Cup qualifiers. It is when Carlos Dunga made one of his best coaching decisions, by putting his faith in the young Inter number one, albeit with some help from goalkeeping coach Claudio Taffarel, who was the one who picked Becker and convinced the national team’s coaching staff to give him the opportunity.
Against Barcelona’s deadly attack, composed of the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele and Andres Iniesta, it will be extremely difficult, it not almost impossible, for Alisson not to concede at the Camp Nou on Wednesday. It will certainly be one of the biggest challenges in his career, but at the same time a great opportunity to prove his worth against some of the world’s best forwards.
The World Cup is on the horizon and Brazil may well have found its goalkeeper for the next ten years, but will Real Madrid be able to do so? Florentino Pérez did sign Keylor Navas following his spectacular performances with Costa Rica in 2014, so it is very possible that a great tournament in Russia, would mean that Alisson is next for the 12-time champions of Europe.