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An ex-Red has offered an assessment of the Brazilian shot-stopper’s first two years at Anfield, while comparing him to a five-time Ballon d’Or winner

Liverpool No.1 Alisson is Cristiano Ronaldo-esque in terms of his ability between the sticks, but Manuel Neuer is the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment, according to David James.

Alisson has had a huge impact at Liverpool since completing a £67 million ($86m) move to Anfield from Roma in the summer of 2018.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have won four major titles with the Brazilian in goal, including the Champions League and Premier League, having cut out the defensive errors which undermined their efforts in the German manager’s first few years at the club.

The likes of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk all helped the Reds reach a new level, but Alisson proved to be the final piece in a title-winning puzzle after replacing Loris Karius as the club’s first-choice ‘keeper.

The 27-year-old claimed the Golden Glove award in his first season at Anfield, and was instrumental in Liverpool’s run to a first league crown in 30 years in 2019-20 despite dealing with niggling injuries throughout the campaign.

James says Alisson is similar to Juventus superstar Ronaldo in terms of his faultless all-round game, and that the Brazilian is capable of maintaining his level for many years to come.

“I met him at Melwood and [Liverpool sporting director] Michael Edwards introduced me to him – he’s so young!” the ex-Reds shot-stopper told the Liverpool Echo.

“The idea of peak being attributed to age is a misnomer because you could peak at 15 – there’s nothing saying you are going to be better at 16 or 26.

“In the end, it’s about biology and whether you are capable of going further and faster and higher but with Alisson, you are looking at a ‘keeper who everything he does is so good.

“He might be a bit Cristiano Ronaldo-esque in the sense that he doesn’t have to do something exceptional to still be at the highest level.”

James believes Alisson was far and away the best ‘keeper in the business during his first year at Liverpool, but claims that Bayern’s Neuer has overtaken him over the past 12 months.

The Germany star helped his side win the treble last term, while Alisson was perhaps not at his best post-lockdown following the coronavirus-enforced break.

James is confident that the ex-Roma ‘keeper will wrestle that title back from Neuer though, as he added: “The season before last, Alisson Becker was the best goalkeeper that I was seeing anywhere – I have to say Europe, because I don’t know what’s happening in all the leagues around the world.

“I can loosely say the best in the world and Alisson was the best. But last season there was a lot of injury issues.

“When Alisson came in, it was clean sheet after clean sheet and he proved his value. After Covid-19, he wasn’t at his best but all Liverpool needed to do was win the league and they did that.

“Manuel Neuer on the other hand has been faultless – in the Champions League final, there were two saves that he made that kept a clean sheet.

“[In the UEFA Super Cup against Sevilla] the save against [Samir] Nasri was top-drawer and he is at the moment, as we speak, the top-performing goalkeeper in the world.

“I think that Alisson is better than Neuer over a longer period of time and he will once again be the best – I love everything about him and he seems unflappable.”

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September 30, 2020
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