Alisson's unreal rise from Internacional to Liverpool via Roma by those who know him best

BRAZILIAN goalkeeper Alisson has had a massive impact on Liverpool’s season.

Virgil van Dijk often gets the plaudits for the Reds’ improvement at the back – but their £67million stopper cannot be ignored.

Alisson was brought in from Roma in July after Loris Karius’ Champions League final disaster against Real Madrid.

He has now kept 26 clean sheets overall – his 21 Premier League shut-outs earning him the Golden Glove.

Were it not for his injury-time Anfield save from Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik in December, Euro finalists Liverpool would have gone out in the groups.

Porto Alegre-born Alisson, 26, joined home-town club Internacional aged ten – rising up the ranks to play more than 100 games before leaving for Roma in 2016.

Here, SunSport speaks to the men who know him best…

DANIEL PAVAN

(Internacional’s keeper coach)

I’ve known Alisson since he was ten years old.

I used to see him coming to Internacional to accompany his brother, Muriel, who I was already coaching.

We encouraged him to follow the same path.

From 12, I worked with Alisson for eight seasons. We are very close friends and talk constantly.

Even before the semi-final against Barcelona he was on the bus to the stadium and we were talking by WhatsApp.

He is now the complete goalkeeper. He has all the skills required to play at the top level.

Coming off his line, ability with his feet and he passes well.

Since he was in the youth teams I used to call him “the Iceman”, as he shows a lot of coldness and calmness.

In 2014 he started as the fourth keeper – but injuries and suspensions saw him fast-tracked into the first team.

He was made captain at just 22 and the next year he was called up for Brazil.

His first year in Rome, he stayed on the bench (behind Wojciech Szczesny), and was a little bit disappointed but it helped him adapt to European football.

It was important.

[Alisson] is now the complete goalkeeper. He has all the skills required to play at the top level

But it was the move to England that helped him become a complete goalkeeper.

We always trusted a lot on him. Everything happened in his life very fast.

He worked for that. I worked with him for eight years so I am not surprised with his performances.

We knew there were great expectations over Alisson because he was the most expensive keeper in history.

If he can be a champion by beating Tottenham, he will grow even more.

He still follows Internacional and supports us. We have a group in WhatsApp with current and former keepers from  Internacional.

I said my dream is to meet him in the Fifa Club World Cup if Inter wins the Copa Libertadores and Liverpool win tonight. It’s a dream but we’re working on it.

CLEMER SILVA

(Iconic Internacional keeper and Inter B coach in 2014)

When I was coach of Inter B, Alisson was already in the first squad.

He was the fourth keeper but their manager at the time, Abel Braga, had a problem with goalkeepers.

Dida was sent off and Muriel was injured. There were Agenor and Alisson.

About 15 days beforehand, I had needed a more experienced keeper to play in some Inter B tournaments.

I talked first to Agenor. He told me that he didn’t want to play for Inter B because he didn’t want to go back any more, as he was already in the first squad.

Then I talked to Alisson. He immediately accepted the idea. He said that he needed to play, he needed rhythm.

Instantly, he became the most outstanding player of my team. He was always the best player.

So, when Abel needed to choose between Agenor and Alisson for the senior team, I said both were great keepers but that I only could talk about Alisson because he was playing with me.

And he was also playing very well. So, Abel went for Alisson.

That’s an example of how a choice impacts the player’s life.

I hope he doesn’t have to save too much [in the CL final]. But if it is necessary, I am sure he will be outstanding and will help Liverpool become champions

Alisson was chosen because he was playing for Inter B.

He deserves everything that is happening with him. I’m not surprised about this. We already knew he had quality.

He just needed an opportunity.

And when he had the opportunity, he took it.

The calmness and the security that he provides for the team is important.

He rarely commits a mistake, but, when he does, he never loses his focus.

He provides reliability to his team-mates, which is very important for a goalkeeper.

I’ll obviously be supporting Alisson in the Champions League final.

I want to see Alisson winning. I’ll be very happy if he wins.

DIEGO AGUIRRE

(Internacional coach in 2015, Alisson’s best year there)

Since the early days, I could already see that Alisson was a different goalkeeper who would do great things and have a wonderful future.

At Liverpool, Roma, Internacional and in the Brazilian national team he was always spectacular.

I have no doubt that he is the best goalkeeper I’ve ever worked with.

Besides that, he is a wonderful person and an excellent professional.

Alisson was a boy when he played with me. It was his first year as an Inter starter.

His leadership was down to his personality and quality. He was a calm person and very professional.

He has always had a high level of education and he has been very professional. He always trained a lot.

He often secured the result with great saves and the team won a lot of games because of his excellent  performance.

It’s hard to predict who will win this final or how much of it will be down to Alisson himself – but, of course, he will help.

But then they are all top-level players.

Liverpool have very good players and a great coach that I admire a lot.

If Liverpool win, Alisson will be a very important player, as he has been throughout all stages of the Champions League.

But then again Tottenham are also very strong.

JUAN

(Brazil international, played with Alisson at Internacional and also played in Europe)

From the first time I saw Alisson, I realised that he was a different goalkeeper.

I played at Roma and also in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen – in Europe, it is difficult to adapt for any player, more as a keeper.

He needs to speak to the team-mates, he needs to guide the defence.

It was not easy for any of the  great keepers Brazil had to do this.

During his first year on the bench at Roma, it was important for him to get used to Europe, raise his confidence and to adapt to the language.

He took off very fast. He reached a high level quickly and he is now one of the best keepers in the world.

Alisson is a guy with a lot of personality inside the field. Off the field, he was very mature for his age.

He is very professional. These factors have helped him throughout his career.

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And now tonight I am supporting Liverpool because of Alisson. We are friends and we have played together.

I hope he doesn’t have to save too much.

But if it is necessary, I am sure he will be outstanding and will help Liverpool become champions.

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