Alisson almost quit football for being 'too fat and short'
Liverpool’s £67m goalkeeper Alisson was almost forced to give up football when his club believed he was too small and too overweight to compete.
10 years ago, Internacional’s youth team saw the goalkeeper on the edge of giving up the game because he didn’t have the required stature to succeed, and his predilection for biscuits and pop didn’t help him stay lithe.
However, now that he stands at 6ft 4, a growth spurt rescued his career, and changed the minds of his coaches.
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That was not the only obstacle his faced, as his parents wanted him to stay in school and commit to education to pursue a more traditionally middle class career.
Alisson has his goalkeeping coach at Internacional, Daniel Pavan, told The Sun that he was able to convince the former Roma player to stick with football for one more season.
He told the newspaper: “I felt happy and very proud to see Alisson play at a World Cup and now move to one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“When Alisson started he had a slower maturation than the other boys, this made him a shorter keeper and one with weight above the others.
“This made him often deprived of a position in the starting line-up and sometimes even the bench. One day his parents came looking for me, thinking he had no future in the profession and they wanted to get him out of football.
“They thought he had more future in his studies and that he should leave the club. But I managed to convince them Alisson was still going to grow to maturity for his age and would have a great future as a keeper.
“Genetically, he was slower than the boys of his age but with different technical gestures — we bet on his growth from the first moment.
“And thank God they heard me. A year later he had grown 6.5in. From there, he even started to be called to the Brazilian base teams.”
Pavan explained that he remains in touch with Alisson despite him leaving for Europe in 2016 in a move to Europe from Brazil, saying:
“Of the 13 years that he was at Internacional, eight were spent working with me.
“They were years of learning and teaching in all areas. I think we contributed much to Alisson as an athlete, a man and a citizen.
“In all our time together, we surpassed the athlete-coach relationship, became personal friends and still speak to this day. I’m a family friend.”
Pavan explained that Alisson has all the qualities needed to succeed as a goalkeeper at the top of European football:
He said: “It’s very difficult to point out a weak point. Alisson dominates all the fundamentals of the position and combines this with a strong personality. He is very cool and quiet inside the penalty area.
“He has an exemplary family structure, which has always been a great support for him to become one of the best keepers in the world. Even today his parents continue to work and have always worked hard to give their children total conditions to succeed.”
Alisson is expected to link up with his new teammates in France this week as they prepare for the start of the Premier League season.