Alisson: ‘Never forget Roma debut’

Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker discussed settling in to the Giallorossi, a bet with Edin Dzeko and the Champions League game he’ll “never forget.”

The shot-stopper has been a sensation this season, not conceding any Champions League goals on home turf, and his profile is set to rise even further after the World Cup.

He hopes to follow in the footsteps of legendary Brazil goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel.

“I was born in 1992, so I didn’t watch him play very much, but from what I can see now of the footage he was more than a professional,” Alisson told Roma TV.

“I met him and it was a huge honour for me. He changed everything in Brazil, being one of the first goalkeepers to come to Europe. It’s a different role here, you play with your feet much more and the way I come off the line has also changed.

“Roma really like to play with the goalkeeper as part of the game, as he represents another pair of feet, so I worked very hard on improving that aspect of my game.

“The first few months in Italy were not easy, as there was a big change in the training methods too. In Brazil I worked more on intensity and strength in my legs, whereas in Italy the work was also on technique, coming out to take the ball both high and low.

“I would love to win a title at Roma, because the team deserves it and I want to be a part of that. The Curva Sud has become my home. I have chosen a team that gave me such a warm welcome and that made everything easier.

“Juan Jesus was very helpful, as he had been in Italy for five years already and his wife also helped my wife to settle in.”

Alisson arrived at Roma in 2016 from Internacional, but for the first season was understudy to Wojciech Szczesny.

“I waited for my moment and took the Number 1 jersey. Now I have no intention of letting it go. Nobody is irreplaceable, but every day I come to training hoping to give my best and help my teammates to win. The worst thing for a player is being on the bench, as I wanted so much to come on and help. I needed calm to wait for my moment and it arrived.”

He has made some extraordinary reaction saves this term, above all in his Champions League debut against Atletico Madrid.

“The save on Saul Niguez in the last minute was the most difficult. I’ll never forget that game. I played in the Libertadores in Brazil, but it doesn’t compare to the Champions League. I feel like a wolf when I step on to the field!

“Coach Eusebio Di Francesco has changed our attitude, making us more determined and aggressive, but without forgetting to play quality football too. Everyone works hard to help the defence.

“In training, I have a bet going with Edin Dzeko and he tries to score past me every day. Facing a competitor like him all the time makes you improve.”

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