Liverpool FC have signed a new goalkeeper for £66.9 million, an amount deserved only by Brazil international footballer Alisson Becker, who previously manned the goalpost for AS Roma.
Becker’s world-record contract with Liverpool is subject to a medical, The Guardian reported.
After an initial offer valued at €70m, Liverpool and Roma reached an agreement for Becker’s switch on Wednesday. The transfer fee includes €5m in add-ons, to be paid in a span of two years.
The Brazilian goalkeeper joined Roma from Internacional in 2016 for €7.5 million and was a back-up to Wojciech Szczesny. Becker did not taste football action for the Italian club until his nemesis was signed by Juventus.
In his position as Roma’s first-choice goalkeeper, Becker played against Liverpool in their 2017/18 UEFA Champions League semi-final match but suffered heartbreak as the Reds proceeded to Kiev for a disappointing game with Real Madrid.
Media speculations favored Chelsea as Becker’s next stop if Thibaut Courtois left the club, and Stamford Bridge management showed interest with an offer on Wednesday but the Brazilian had a conversion with Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, on Tuesday and decided to party with the Champions League finalists.
Becker is expected to define the modern era of football at Anfield as the most expensive goalkeeper ever. His signing has been a resounding victory for EPL fans, especially Liverpool supporters all over the world.
One remarkable feature of the goalkeeper is his beauty, not performance per se. Yet, one cannot help but admit that he is simply cute-faced.
Image: Alisson Becker
— Jonathan Higgins (@Jhiggins3) July 18, 2018
Becker is known as “Goleiro Gato (handsome goalkeeper)” in Brazil. One of his former trainers at Internacional, Argel, used to call him “Muso (the muse)” during trainings. The goal-tender reportedly won an informal beauty contest ahead of Neymar and Casemiro, Philippe Coutinho, among others, during the 2009 U17 World Cup held in Nigeria.
‘You are there to work and prove your quality, but people just fawn on you for the beauty. Does calling you pretty names piss you off?’ Danilo Gentili, a comedian who hosts Brazil’s most popular late-night talk show The Noite (The Night) asked the 25-year-old.
‘Do you consider your beauty a challenge?’
The interview was conducted in 2016, when Becker had just signed a mouth-watering deal with Roma. He has rejected invitations to participate in modelling contests.
‘I was afraid that off-field beauty engagements would affect my performances on the pitch,’ he told Gentili amid laughs.
Some pundits in Brazil even questioned Dunga’s 2015 decision to select Becker as Brazil’s first-choice keeper instead of a more-experienced Jefferson, who played for Botafogo.
‘I really don’t think I got the nod for being handsome,’ he shrugged during an interview with SporTV in May.
Speaking on Becker’s world-record move to Liverpool, Roma’s former goalkeeping coach Roberto Negrisolo said: ‘I see him as the Messi of goalkeepers because he thinks the same way as the famous Argentine footballer.’
Negrisolo added in the interview with Il Romanista, ‘He [Becker] is a goalkeeper who can define an era…Let’s be honest about the price tag. He’s worth much more than that, and people’s reaction prove how this young man has been underestimated.
‘This guy is a phenomenon, the number one of No.1s. His reflexes in goal remind me of Dino Zoff.’
Other three players who arrived Anfield before Becker’s signing are Naby Keita, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri.
IN – Total = £250M
£68M – Alisson
£75M – Van Dijk
£52M – Keita
£42M – Fabinho
£13M – Shaqiri
OUT – Total = £466M
£81M – 2016/17 Sales
£75M – CL Comp
£145M – PL Comp
£140M – Coutinho
£25M – Other comps.
So #LFC have £216M remaining. But rivals think FFP is needed.
— Anfield Effect™ (@AnfieldEffect) July 18, 2018