Alisson's performance in Liverpool's Champions League win provides the starkest of contrasts to last year's final

Jason Burt
Alisson has completely justified his £67m fee Liverpool paid last summer - REUTERS

Alisson has justified the £67million, then a world-record fee, Liverpool paid for him last summer with his performances and not least in last night's Champions League final.

Liverpool goalkeeper coach John Achterberg paid tribute to the Brazilian’s “calmness” which, he said, is not something that can be taught and which helps take “the team through the pressure moments”.

The contrast for Liverpool could not be sharper between Saturday’s Champions League triumph against Tottenham Hotspur when Alisson made a series of crucial late saves and the calamitous performance of the man he replaced, Loris Karius, in last year’s defeat in Kiev to Real Madrid.

Immediately after that final the talk was that Liverpool would press ahead with a bid for Alisson, then at Roma, and it took the extraordinary fee for a deal to be agreed for him to sign for six years. Later in that transfer window Chelsea paid £72million for Kepa Arrizabalaga.

That fee has been completely justified in the difference that Alisson has made to Liverpool’s defence with the 26-year-old also winning the Premier League’s ‘golden glove’ award after collecting a remarkable 21 clean sheets this season.

Alisson makes another save during Liverpool's triumph Credit: Getty Images

Achterberg, who works closely with Alisson, said: “We bought an expensive goalie but he paid it back with the trophy, he had a big hand in it any way.” As Tottenham pushed Alisson made smart saves from Son Heung-Min, twice, Christian Eriksen and Danny Rose but it was also the reassuring way he dealt with the situations that helped his team.

“It is unbelievable the way he stayed calm in the difficult situations and the saves he makes, he takes the team through the pressure moments,” Achterberg said. “He's done it in a few games: Napoli to get to the knockout round, Barcelona to get to the final. What can you say? Decision-making you cannot train, you train and try to prepare but what he does is so unbelievable in his first year in the UK.

“Decision-making you cannot teach but also staying calm under high pressure is not to teach, it is natural. The training you can prepare what's going to happen in a game and situations you can train but decision-making, when to come, when to stay, when to be calm and when to play he showed that's all him.

“There are always things he can improve but the level he has produced this season is probably one of the best in the world. He showed it. He needs to keep driving this to make sure he gets the recognition from everyone. He has had an amazing season to break the record for clean sheets.” 

For Liverpool there are also the contrasting emotions from last season and not least for Achterberg who coached both Karius and Alisson who went through such different experiences.

Karius, who was sent on loan to Turkish club Besiktas after his blunders against Madrid, took to Twitter after the final against Spurs to say: “Congrats @LFC. Really happy for everyone at the club. You deserved this.”

“That's football,” Achterberg. “It's tough for the one and great for the other, it's true. It is just, even for the boss (Jurgen Klopp), it is unbelievable. He won the trophy when he has been close so many times. It is a big relief for everyone in the whole club to win a trophy again and I think it is deserved to be honest.

“The way we played this season – maybe not the prettiest today – but the points and the trophy count. That is what you have to take. The staff and the players work their balls off and we have to go again. You can't say anything about the investment for the owners either because that has helped as well. Hopefully we keep it going and try to win the next one.”