When it comes to backing a goalkeeper there can be no greater praise than that of a peer and a former Liverpool man believes Alisson Becker might be the best to ever grace the Premier League.
Brad Friedel was on Liverpool’s books for almost three years from 1997 to 2000, but managed just 31 appearances in a difficult period, before going on to pursue an established Premier League career with Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa and Tottenham. He remains a Reds fan, however, and believes Jurgen Klopp has one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of the English top flight at his disposal.
Speaking on behalf of 888sport, Friedel said: “Alisson is up there. People might think he’s the greatest of all time and have an argument for him. Others may think it’s (Peter) Schmeichel, or (David) Seaman, or (Edwin) Van der Sar: they’re all in the conversation and it depends on who you like. But I wouldn’t oppose someone who thinks he’s the best ever.
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Brazilian Alisson is battling for his national team’s number one shirt with Manchester City stopper Ederson, but American Friedel believes the Reds glove-maker has the advantage over his compatriot.
Friedel said: “They are different keepers and I would put Alisson slightly in front, but someone could sit next to me and argue the other way. Ederson is better with his feet. He is special with his feet, superb. Alisson is probably a bit better with the shot save overall. They are the same on crosses and one on one.
“Maybe Alisson is a bigger character and has a bigger presence, but with Ederson I turn on the TV to be entertained by a goalkeeper and it’s not often you can say that. I like watching goalkeepers, don’t get me wrong, but I go on TV wanting the ball to go to his feet. I want to see how calm he is. I want to see him hit a sixty- ten yards in no time. He’s fun to watch.”
As well as representing Liverpool in goal, Alisson and Friedel have something else in common: they have both scored in the Premier League. The winner of Alisson’s stoppage-time header against West Bromwich Albion in the closing stages of the 2020/21 season has fallen into Liverpool folklore.
But Friedel got the party done long before him in 2004 while playing for Blackburn. The American came on in the 90th minute for a corner and scored a spectacular equalizer with a side foot to make it 2-2 against Charlton Athletic. But incredibly, the Addicks went straight to the other end and scored again to win the game 3-2.