Former Liverpool forward John Barnes believes Alisson Becker is on the right path to exceeding Ray Clemence and Bruce Grobbelaar as the club’s “best-ever goalkeeper”.
The 28-year-old Brazilian has proven a revelation between the sticks at Anfield since joining from Roma in 2018 for a then world-record £66.8m fee for a goalkeeper, winning the Premier League Golden Glove in his maiden campaign, and the title the following season.
Alisson was also named the Champions League ‘Goalkeeper of the Season’ in 2018/19 as Liverpool took home their sixth European Cup, while more recently, he nabbed the club’s ‘Goal of the Season’ award for 2020/21 after heading home the winner in a 2-1 win over West Brom in May.
With a medal each for the Premier League, Champions League and the Club World Cup already in the bag, and with the Brazilian still only 28 years of age, he could yet add further silverware to his already impressive collection, thus sealing legendary status on Merseyside.
“I’d definitely say he can be up there with Ray Clemence and Bruce Grobbelaar as Liverpool’s best-ever goalkeeper,” Barnes told Goal.
“However, if he leaves the club next year, then things would be different. At the end of the day, you judge people in terms of the legacy and what they leave behind and the impact they’ve had on the team at the end of their careers.
“Alisson has only been with Liverpool for two-and-a-half years and he’s done fantastically well so if he stays and continues to play as well as he has to date, then I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes Liverpool’s best-ever goalkeeper.”
‘Alisson is currently the best in the world’
There is no question in Barnes’ mind that Alisson is currently unmatched between the sticks, suggesting Liverpool’s number one is also the world’s number one.
Jan Oblak won La Liga’s ‘Player of the Season’ award for 2020/21 as Atletico Madrid won the title, while Gianluigi Donnarumma was recently named Euro 2020’s ‘Player of the Tournament’ after Italy scooped the international trophy, but Barnes has thrown his weight behind Liverpool’s shot-stopper for the status of world’s best.
He continued: “Yes – I’d definitely say so.
“Of course Ederson at Manchester City is right up there too. But Alisson is a fantastic goalkeeper and apart from being great he also brings a much-needed calmness to the team and I think that we saw it when himself and [Virgil] van Dijk came to the club, how everything just settled down and calmed down.
“And we’ve seen even with Van Dijk playing, but when Alisson doesn’t play, then maybe the belief isn’t necessarily there. So I think that over the last three years, himself and Van Dijk have been the two most important signings. Yes, [Mohamed] Salah’s been scoring goals, but the way he plays with those two has been fantastic.”