Alisson Becker has spoken about Roma’s visit of Anfield last season, when his former side were defeat 5-2 by Liverpool in the Champions League semi-final first leg.
Alisson, who joined Liverpool for £67 million in July, says his first experience of Anfield was ‘significant’, with supporters loud and proud of their star men.
The Reds went on to defeat Roma over both legs and reach the European Cup final, and Alisson says the atmosphere that night contributed to his decision to join Liverpool three months later.
“It was a very influential and significant experience for me,” Alisson told The Times’ Paul Joyce.
“We didn’t give the due respect to Liverpool. We thought we would pressure Liverpool and go toe-to-toe with them at Anfield.
“As we know, that didn’t happen. The atmosphere I experienced here contributed to my decision to sign. The fans were driving the team on.
“There was also the way the Liverpool team played. It’s not dependent upon one player, it’s a real group effort. It’s a team that plays with love and passion on the pitch.”
The Brazilian has enjoyed a solid start to his Reds career, keeping the most clean-sheets in Europe’s top five divisions.
However, he has also been made to look shaky whilst on the ball, most notably away to Leicester City, where Kelechi Iheanacho pinched the ball from him to score for the home side.
The 25-year-old maintains that he has learned from his errors – and indeed his later showings against Tottenham and Leicester showed signs that he had done so, moving the ball quicker to fellow Reds shirts.
“The secret of the wise man is to learn from the errors of others,” Alisson said. “Unfortunately in the Leicester game it was my error.
“I do take some risks and leave it late to play the ball, but I’ll stop taking these risks in the Premier League because of the different style of play, the physicality and the different refereeing styles.
“I am more mature today so I deal better with the mistakes than the times when I locked myself away and wanted to be alone.
“But if you look at my professional history as a goalkeeper I’m not somebody who makes many mistakes. My game is characterised by consistency and that is what has brought me to Liverpool and helped me grow and develop.
“I like to make simple saves. If the ball is in front of me I won’t dive. My saves are not to show off, or Hollywood saves, for the camera.
“I am working on playing with my feet so I take risks with the ball because I am waiting for options. I am waiting for the centre backs, I’m waiting for the full backs 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. 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, to dribble, and the ball held up in the grass. If it hadn’t held up in the grass it would have been a successful dribble.
“I was pushed from behind as well, and that was a real learning curve for me about the Premier League. Things are different here to other countries and I’ve learnt that I can’t wait for the referee, or expect the referee to call the foul. Today I will take fewer risks and, when the options aren’t appearing, I will clear it into the stands or play a long ball up front.”
The £67 million that Liverpool paid for the Brazilian this summer was the highest fee ever paid for a goalkeeper, only to be eclipsed by Chelsea’s £71.6 million deal for Athletic Bilbao’s Kepa later in the window.
The former Roma man admits that the money banded around is ‘absurd’, however he chooses not to think about the sums involved, instead focusing on giving back to the club with his performances on the field.
“My background is a bit different. When I went up from the youth team to the first team at Internacional [in Brazil] it was a risk, they were almost betting on me making it,” Alisson added.
“Similarly, when I went to Roma from Brazil [in 2016] there was an element of risk in that move, too, but when Liverpool signed me there was a lot more certainty about it.
“I appreciate some people think that it’s a crazy, absurd amount of money. But, for me, I don’t like to think about the numbers. I think more about what I can give back to the club for the faith they have invested in me.
“I was the most expensive goalkeeper in the world and that was quickly followed by Chelsea signing Kepa. I’m calm about it. It’s not just the technical qualities goalkeepers need but the leadership qualities to help out the team, and their communication skills, too.
“They are all the characteristics that I believe I possess. This is becoming an increasing demand of goalkeepers in world football.
“Goalkeeper is a very influential position in the team and that is becoming recognised now. Any error that we make can be fatal for the team.
“It can lead to a goal and cause a defeat. I am really happy with the increased recognition that goalkeepers are getting now. I’m glad to be a leading part of that.”