herald

Monday 16 December 2019

Alisson repays his £65m price tag

Alisson Becker videocalls his wife and daughter from the pitch
Alisson Becker videocalls his wife and daughter from the pitch

Liverpool keeper Alisson Becker's impressive late cameo offered just a tiny glimpse of how good he will become, said the man who watches him every day.

And John Achterberg, the Reds' long-serving goalkeeping coach, believes no one can now doubt the £65m spent on the Brazil international last summer was not worth the outlay.

The 26-year-old was a virtual bystander for 70 minutes as his side led 1-0 from an early penalty and opponents Tottenham struggled to lay a glove on Liverpool.

But with the stakes raised in the final stages he pulled off a string of saves with an air of confidence which left his team-mates in no doubt a sixth European Cup was coming to Merseyside.

"It is unbelievable the way he stayed calm in the difficult situations and the saves he makes, he takes the team through the pressure moments," Achterberg said.

"He's done it in a few games: Napoli to get to the knockout round, Barcelona to get to the final. What can you say? Decision-making you cannot train, you train and try to prepare but what he does is so unbelievable in his first year in the UK.

"Also staying calm under high pressure is not to teach, it is natural. The training you can prepare what's going to happen in a game and situations you can train -but decision-making, when to come, when to stay, when to be calm and when to play he showed that's all him.

"We bought an expensive goalie but he paid it back with the trophy, he had a big hand in it."

Alisson finished the Premier League season as the Golden Glove winner on 21 clean sheets.

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