Liverpool icon Ray Clemence has given Alisson Becker some pointers on how he can follow in his footsteps to become an Anfield legend.
After completing a €72m switch from AS Roma last year, Alisson quickly set about justifying his price tag by delivering solid displays in the Liverpool goal on a consistent basis.
The Brazil international ended up setting a club-record of 27 clean sheets in 51 appearances in his debut campaign. His performances, in fact, played a critical role in Liverpool’s second-place Premier League finish and their Champions League title.
Now, Alisson could cap off an incredible 12 months by winning the Copa America with Brazil on Sunday.
This has prompted talk that the 26-year-old is now a serious candidate for the 2019 Ballon d’Or. Aiding his cause is the fact he hasn’t conceded a single goal in the Copa America itself.
Should Alisson take home the big prize in December then, naturally, many will already view him as a Liverpool legend.
But Clemence, on the other hand, reckons Alisson still has some way to go before he can count himself as a Reds legend.
The former goalkeeper, who won five English league titles and three European Cups with Liverpool, believes continuity and consistency are key for Alisson to join him as an Anfield great.
“He’s proved this year he’s a great goalkeeper,” Clemence told Sky Sports.
“Truly great ones, the legends, continue to do that for the next five, 10 years.
“The word legend is thrown out without thinking, some of the players I was lucky to play with did it for six, seven, eight, 10 years – and that’s why they are so revered at Liverpool.
“But he’s had a great start. With foreign players, it’s partly down to how long they and their families want to stay at a club. Hopefully yes, but only they can make that call.”
Ever since Pepe Reina’s departure in 2014, Liverpool struggled to find a reliable goalkeeper before to Alisson’s arrival.
Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius both tried their luck between the sticks at Anfield, but failed to establish themselves as the number one.
On what makes Alisson different, Clemence said: “He deserves all the accolades because of what he did last year.
“I’ve not met him yet, hopefully, I will at some stage, but he seems a very level-headed goalkeeper, not over-confident, but he’s got a good balance.
“He never seems to get flustered, the great goalkeepers always look in control of every situation. He has that ability to make saves other goalkeepers can’t make. But the great goalkeepers make the saves when the game’s tight, to keep them in it.”