Coach reveals role Alisson’s brother played in Liverpool FC transfer deal
Liverpool's head of goalkeeping John Achterberg reveals the role Alisson Becker's brother played in their signing of Marcelo Pitaluga
Alisson Becker’s brother played a big role in Liverpool FC’s signing of Brazil Under-17 goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga, according to the club’s head of goalkeeping John Achterberg.
The Reds signed Pitaluga in a deal from Fluminese on Thursday to add a potential future number one to their ranks following a lengthy pursuit of the teenager.
Liverpool FC have already added Pitaluga to their first-team squad, although the teenager is expected to represent the Liverpool FC academy team as he gains experience in English football.
Pitaluga rose to prominence for his performances during Brazil’s triumph in the Fifa Under-17 World Cup on their own turf.
Alisson’s brother Muriel is a respected goalkeeper in the Brazilian top flight given a long career at Serie A.
The shot-stopper made 198 appearances for Internacional before he ended up at Pitaluga’s former club Fluminense last year.
Achterberg revealed that Alisson and his brother played a role in the process of getting a deal over the line for the 17-year-old Brazilian talent.
“I saw him for the first time in the World Cup squad. You’re checking all the goalies and looking at the ages,” Achterberg told Liverpool FC’s website.
“You see that he was in the World Cup squad one year younger than the rest of the squad, then you think that’s worth a look because normally you have two goalkeepers of the same age, but if you have someone who is a year younger you think he may have some good attributes.
“He was at Fluminense; we got some games to look at, all the other goalie coaches also look at it – Jack [Robinson] and the Academy coaches Mark [Morris] and Taff [Neil Edwards]. And, of course, I speak to the gaffer and the rest of the coaching department here.
“In Fluminense we had Allan [on loan], so I spoke to Julian [Ward, loan pathways and football partnerships manager] if he saw a little bit of him in training there. He saw him too and was also positive.
“I asked Ali to speak to his brother to see how it goes and how he is doing. Ali spoke to his brother and Ali went training there. We saw a little bit from the training and the games he was playing for the reserves in Brazil.
“He was already 16 playing in the reserve team there so you also think, they trust him to play already in the reserves at 16.”
Achterberg added: “Now he is here, we have to improve [him]. He is still young, there is no pressure because there is still a long road and we don’t want to create any pressure for him because there is still work to do.
“First of all, you need to let him settle down, find his way. He needs to learn the speed, the kind of game in England is different than in Brazil, it’s a lot faster and there’s more aggression in it. All that stuff you have to calculate as well to work on a little bit.”
Liverpool FC signed Alisson in a £67m deal from Serie A giants AS Roma in the 2018 summer transfer window.
The Brazilian, alongside Virgil van Dijk, has helped to revamp the Liverpool FC defence.
The Reds have won the Champions League and the Premier League since his big-money move to Anfield.
Liverpool FC lost 7-2 to Aston Villa in their last Premier League game in the absence of Alisson due to injury.
The South American shot-stopper is set to miss their next top-flight fixture at Everton on Saturday.