Alisson and Ederson will renew their contest to be the best goalkeeper in the Premier League when Liverpool and Manchester City clash in the Community Shield, but one of Brazil’s most distinguished experts in the position told ESPN FC the European champion has the edge.
Sunday’s curtain raiser for 2019-20 at Wembley pits the two strongest teams in England against each other ahead of another campaign in which they’re expected to be the chief title contenders.
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The game will also see two of the game’s supreme stoppers and countrymen in action. Alisson is Brazil’s No. 1 ahead of Ederson and Daniel Pavan, goalkeeping coach of Internacional, believes while they are both of the highest quality, no-one has been better than the Liverpool man in the world over the past year.
“They are very similar goalkeepers, both have an excellent game with their feet, know how to get off the goalline very well, are very firm and secure,” he told ESPN FC.
“I think Alisson comes in a better sequence — more top performances for club and country — and is the best goalkeeper in the world today.
“He has the confidence of [Brazil goalkeeper coach Claudio] Taffarel and [manager] Tite, they rely heavily on him and that’s why he holds the shirt for the Selecao.”
Ederson made the 2018-19 Premier League Team of the Season over Alisson, who won the competition’s Golden Glove award with 21 clean sheets.
The influential City keeper lifted the title, the FA Cup and the League Cup last term as well as the Community Shield.
Alisson was pivotal as Liverpool were crowned champions of Europe for a sixth time and also received the Golden Glove in that competition as well in the Copa America, where he helped Brazil triumph.
The 26-year-old, who Pavan watched from the age of 10 at Inter and remains close to now, was not included in FIFA’s The Best shortlist for player of the year, but he is in the Ballon d’Or conversation.
Lev Yashin of Dynamo Moscow in 1963 was the first and remains the only goalkeeper to win the accolade, but Pavan feels the position deserves more recognition when it comes to major awards.
“I believe that because of Alisson’s level of performance, his regularity and winning the Champions League he has total conditions to be a nominee and even deserves to receive the Ballon d’Or,” he says.
“I think it’s a good opportunity to show that goalkeepers also deserve to earn this honour.”
Pavan’s first introduction to Alisson was when, as a kid, he used to pretend to be his older brother Muriel (five years his senior) in goal. He would later displace his sibling and the World Cup-winning Dida as Inter’s first-choice after navigating a slower development process.
“Muriel has always been Alisson’s great inspiration,” Pavan said. “He began to enjoy the position of his older brother, pretending to be him from a very young age. The desire to be a goalkeeper spread a lot in him and from there he started training at Inter as well.
“Due to his below-average maturity, even though he was a technically superior goalkeeper, he was not appreciated. This often upset him and his parents at some point talked to me thinking he should give up. But I convinced them that this was not the best way forward, that Alisson would have a chance because of his high quality — thank God they listened to me.
“About a year later, Alisson grew between 12 to 14cm. His great technique was noticed and he got picked for Brazil’s junior teams and never stopped evolving.
“We always believed a lot in Alisson’s potential and quality, but of course we never imagined how far it could go as it happens today with him as a Champions League and Copa America winner.
“What strikes me most is to see him today as the best goalkeeper in the world and remain the same person, friends of friends. Maintains his humility and simple manner that has always characterised him.”