The full-time whistle of the 2018 Champions League final in Kiev certainly tears and despair to Liverpool fans. The two horrific mistakes made by poor Loris Karius against Real Madrid was the final nail in the coffin of the German keeper’s Liverpool career.
But it also kickstarted a remarkable renaissance, not only in the goalkeeping position but in the club. First, they bought Alisson Becker, just after the World Cup in Russia, for a then world record fee for a goalkeeper (around £67m).
Since then, the Brazil number one has been a colossus in goal for the Reds, playing a major part in the club’s Champions League success in 2019, along with a close-second place finish in the 2018/19 league campaign amassing 97 points and winning the Golden Glove award.
The following season the league title was lifted with a points tally of 99. In those two league campaigns combined, the former Roma man kept 34 clean sheets in 67 appearances, at 50% rate. To date, in a total of 103 league appearances for the Reds, the 28-year-old has kept 46 clean sheets at a rate of 44.66%. To put this into context, greats like Gigi Buffon and Iker Casillas had clean sheet rates of 46.4% and 34.6% during their illustrious careers at Juventus and Real Madrid respectively (this stat is just to put Alisson’s clean sheet rate in perspective, not a direct comparison).
Goalkeepers generally can influence football games in a moment. Alisson has won many big moments for Liverpool, starting from his Herculean save against Napoli in the 18/19 Champions League campaign to ensure Liverpool qualified for the knockout stages, to a splendid performance in the second half of the final against Tottenham to help the team lift the trophy. Special mention to a number of good saves he made in the second leg of the semi-final against Barcelona, where his positioning and handling were top notch.
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