Having completed his Roma medical this week, the Selecao no.1 will be hoping to emulate an illustrious list of his compatriots who have starred in Italy's top-flight
On Tuesday, Brazil goalkeeper Alisson passed a medical in Italy ahead of his proposed transfer to Roma.
The 23-year-old emerged as the Selecao’s no.1 in October 2015, dislodging the previously immovable Jefferson, and attracting the interest of the capital club.
Despite his tender years, the Internacional man impressed coach Dunga to such a degree that he was originally set to be one of Brazil’s overage wildcards at the upcoming Rio Olympics, though the emergence of Ederson at Benfica has resulted in a rethink.
After a slightly nervy start on his international debut against Venezuela, he has etabished himself as the five-time world champions’ undisputed no.1 in his four matches since, including an outstanding performance in Asuncion that saw Brazil grab a 2-2 draw.
Alisson has subsequently held off competition from the returning Diego Alves and will be a starter at June’s Copa America Centenario ahead of his move to Europe, where he is now set to continue his rapid rise by adding to a long tradition of Brazilians standing between the posts in Serie A.
The Rio Grande do Sul native has repeatedly credited Selecao goalkeeping coach Taffarel with his continued improvement and will no doubt be picking the former World Cup-winner’s brains ahead of his switch to Roma.Taffarel knows Serie A as well as anyone, having helped Parma to two Coppa Italia titles and a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup during two spells with the club between 1991-93 and a brief return in 2002.
Alisson began his professional career as back-up to another former Serie A and World Cup-winning great, Dida, who picked up two UEFA Champions League titles during a trophy-laden decade with AC Milan.
Dida also claimed a Serie A title in 2004, though his domestic success was eclipsed by another great Brazilian goalkeeper in Milan, Julio Cesar, who earned himself a reputation as the world’s best goalkeeper at Inter during the tail end of the previous decade.
Julio Cesar became an idol at San Siro, securing five league titles, three Coppas Italia and a Champions League title during his seven years in Italy.
More recently, former Santos custodian Rafael Cabral has been attempting to make his way in Serie A, though has found first-team football hard to come by at Napoli since his 2013 move.
However, Alisson will hope to follow in the footsteps of a more successful predecessor at the Stadio Olimpico, Doni.
The now retired former Brazil international claimed two Italian cups in the eternal city during six years with the club, earning himself a call-up to Copa America 2007 under current coach Dunga.
He played all six matches as the Selecao romped to their eighth South American crown, playing his part with two penalty saves to see his country past Uruguay in the semi-final shootout.
Alisson, then, will certainly have a lot to live up to in Serie A, but for both current club and country he has time and again displayed the mental strength to suggest he is ready to meet expectations and continue the great tradition of Brazilian goalkeepers in Calcio.
“This team is the top for me,” he said upon landing in Rome. “I'm very happy and pleased to be here.” Rome and Serie A will no doubt be pleased to have him.