Gilette Brasil Global Tour

Having started his country's last five matches, the Internacional goalkeeper is now established himself as the Selecao's no.1


GOALCOMMENT 

The emergence of Brazil goalkeeper Alisson was one of the biggest positives to come out of a week that saw the Selecao secure World Cup qualifying draws with Uruguay and Paraguay.

Inside just six months, the 23-year-old has shot from third-choice to his country’s undisputed no.1. But such meteoric rises are nothing new for the Internacional goalkeeper: he did the same at club level, taking less than two years as a professional to relegate Muriel and World Cup-winner Dida to reserves.

In September 2015, Alisson’s cross-town rival Marcelo Grohe of Gremio was selected for Brasil Global Tour friendlies against Costa Rica and USA as a first real contender to Jefferson’s place in the team emerged. 

Botafogo star Jefferson had, until then, started every single match for which he was eligible since Dunga’s July 2014 appointment, missing only the November 2014 BGT double-header with Turkey and Austria because the squad was retracted to foreign-based players. Alisson was well and truly on the outside looking in. 

But a series of impressive training sessions with Brazil’s goalkeeping coach and eternal idol Taffarel convinced Dunga he deserved a chance.

He made his debut in October’s 3-1 victory over Venezuela in a change that was heavily criticised by the local press – not because of any doubts over Alisson’s ability, but because they felt Jefferson had been treated unfairly.

And it was this week that the young Gaucho emerged from the Jefferson-shaped shadow under which he has started his international career

Against Uruguay some have suggested he could have stopped a low Luiz Suarez drive that brought Uruguay back level from two goals down, but Alisson was roundly praised for standing up long enough to strop a fierce Suarez shot from the edge of the box just as it appeared the Barcelona man was set to win it for Uruguay.

Against Paraguay at the Defensores del Chaco on Tuesday, the goalkeeper turned in his best performance for Brazil so far. Dunga's side faced intense pressure from the home side in the opening stages and had Alisson to thank for going into the break just one goal down.

The highlight of his first half was a truly miraculous save from Gustavo Gómez, who had the goal at his mercy from just 5 yards.

Alisson now has five caps and is yet to taste defeat. March 2015 has been the month Alisson became a bonafide international.