Editor’s Column: Alisson is legitimately one of the best goalkeepers of all time

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Before the World Cup began, there was an online debate about which keeper Brazil boss Tite should select for El Selecao: Liverpool’s Alisson or Manchester City’s Ederson.

The majority of those involved sided with the former, although there was still plenty of support for the City man, who admittedly is very, very good.

As someone who’s watched both closely for years, I honestly don’t think it’s that close. Ederson is one of the best keepers in the world, but Alisson is one of the greatest to ever play the game.

His performance against South Korea proved that last night, on the biggest stage.

In huge games, he always delivers. He has done for Liverpool and his country for years now.

There were plenty of impressive saves in Brazil’s 4-1 victory, but these two were my favourites. They both showcase his athletic ability and reflexes. On another day, despite the brilliance with which Brazil attacked, it could have been 4-4! He was faultless for South Korea’s deflected goal, too.

Domestically, he’s been unparalleled as well.

This graph below shows that Alisson is not only the best shot-stopper, but one of the best distributors in the Premier League. He keeps the ball out of the net while passing it smartly to team-mates.

Ederson’s passing is phenomenal and probably better than Alisson’s, but he’s simply much worse at making saves – the most defining goalkeeper attribute.

If I feel sorry for anyone, it’s Caoimhín Kelleher. The Irishman is 24-years-old and is obviously ready for first-team football, but how is he ever going to get a look in while Alisson guards our net? Liverpool should at least let him leave on loan, soon.

Ali has a contract until 2027. He’s only 30-years-old, which is arguably before a keeper’s peak and if anything, he’s only showing signs of improvement.

As Visual Game puts it, Alisson is up there with anyone who’s played the game.

Peter Schmeichel could make big saves, but only ever booted the ball long. Gigi Buffon had insane longevity, but did he do anything better than Alisson does? Manuel Neuer is an all-time great, sure, but if Alisson can match his international success by winning this World Cup with Brazil, what would there be between them?

When you watch old clips of the legendary keepers, they’re simply not as physically imposing or as good positionally as Alisson.

If there was a weakness, you could say he’s too composed on the ball and sometimes gets in trouble when passing it out by taking slightly too much time with the ball at his feet. But he’s only ever paid for it one or two times and it’s rarely cost Liverpool or Brazil any points.

Liverpool arguably need a rebuild over the next few windows. The midfield has aged, Sadio Mane has left and the defence has put in some horrible performances. But one thing that doesn’t need any attention is the goalkeeping position. By the time he hangs up his gloves, Alisson will be recognised as an all-time great, although in terms of his ability, he already should be.

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