Alisson Becker: What It Took To Become One Of The World's Best Goalkeepers

by Jason Branagan
9th Sep 2018

Born in 1992 in Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul, to parents Magali Lino de Souza Becker and Jose Agostinho Becker, little did they know that that little baby would grow up to be one of the most famous people, not to mention one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

It’s been a fast and determined ride.

Initially Becker’s love of the Beautiful Game came from more earthy foundations – a want to emulate his brother Muriel, who also played in goal. Like most Brazillians, he was born with a football at his feet, although in his case, it was in his hands.

Things quickly spiraled. Aged just 9, in 2002 Becker joined Internacional's Academy in Serie A and consistently impressed at all age levels, setting the bar and showing that he wanted to be (and was going to be) something special.

However brotherly love soon turned into sibling rivalry, but this time it wasn’t at home, it was business. Making his senior debut in Feb 2013, Becker was craving the Number 1 position, but to get to the top, he needed to compete with his older brother, to knock him off the top spot and reign supreme. And just like so many historic tales of Kings and Queens, rivalry and treachery for centuries before, Becker did the same.

In the years that followed, Becker made over 100 appearances for the club, but he was growing restless. Having outgrown them, he pushed for a dream move to Italian titans Roma and in July 2016 he made the move earning Internacional a €7.5 million fee. The perfect move, he thought, but he had to work for it. Unable to prove himself enough, he remained Number 2 to Wojciech Szczesny, failing to become a regular in the squad until his second season. It was going well, but he wanted more and after just 64 appearances, he transferred to Liverpool FC.

Signing for a record fee of £66.8 million this summer (and making Roma a hefty profit of over £60 million), Liverpool will be expecting a lot for their money. Titans Real Madrid and Chelsea were in hot pursuit, but a personal phone call from Klopp who’d listed him as his favorite sealed the deal. And it’s easy to see why.

A superb goalkeeper, Allison has the skills, heart and determination to take LFC all the way. A modern day sweeper, he’s unstoppable on the pitch; a fantastic passer, thrower, catcher, agile in all directions and a superb shot stopper. The perfect fit for Liverpool, not only can he pick a pass out from 60 yards, but importantly, he’s instilled confidence in the defense that we’ve so desperately lacked, both on the pitch and in the dressing room. ‘His calming influence in the dressing room is brilliant’ said Klopp.

I haven’t been this excited about a goalkeeper since Pepe Riena was signed all those years ago by Rafa Benitez. If he can cut back on the Cruyff turns, then exciting times are ahead.

OK, so he made one mistake recently against Leicester City, but as Klopp said: ‘We all have to learn from that, not only himself. It was clear that it would happen one day - I didn't think it would happen immediately. He knows it was his mistake, of course, he's man enough to get that. I told him that the best game to do it was this one because we won it, so it's all fine now.’

The big question: Can Becker keep his head in the game? Only time will tell. But if you look at the greats who have longevity and keep improving in the game (love them or hate them) like Ronaldo, they do all they can to control the variables… diet, nutrition, avoid alcohol, keep every other aspect of their homes and families stable, even getting rid of those who rock the boat in their quest for perfection… The same in tennis and other sports. Look at Murray and Federer. And Alisson seems to stay away from trouble too; an image as a Brazilian International icon and family man with stunning and intelligent doctor wife Natalia and daughter Helena (who are a story of true love, meeting before his success and with him supporting her through her studies) setting him in good stead.

One thing’s for sure, Alisson does want it. He wants to play well, he wants to be the best. And he’ll do anything to get there. From battling his brother for the Number 1 spot, to keeping dynamites like Man City’s Ederson away from it with Brazil, Allison wants to win, and is more than up for the challenge. He also wants to play for teams that he wants to play for, not who he’s told to, and he wants to play for Liverpool. A great sign.




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