Liverpool have lingering Alisson question after Brazil struggles as supporters turn on goalkeeper

-Credit: (Image: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

It perhaps comes as no surprise to see that Alisson has been Brazil's number one since 2015.

The Liverpool shot-stopper received his first call-up for Brazil by former coach Dunga at the age of 22, when he was at Brazilian side Internacional. He joined goalkeepers Marcelo Grohe and Jefferson and eventually, took over from the latter, becoming a regular starter.

From World Cups to Copa Americas, Alisson now has 68 caps for his country and has kept 42 clean sheets in the process. When asked about the secret to being called up for nine consecutive years, the Reds star replied: "Longevity is linked to consistency. I always want to be the best goalkeeper in Brazil, England and in the world.

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"Training is fundamental to this. Once your career reaches a certain point, you see that other choices make a difference. I have to work very hard to arrive at the games and feel well prepared. Always play well to convince Dorival to call me up and choose me as number 1. The competition for places is big, other goalkeepers are always here too, like Ederson. But I have focused a lot on being consistent and I believe that is the reason why I have been wearing the Brazilian team's shirt for many years."

Brazil coach Dorival Junior, replaced Tite at the helm back in January and opted to stick with Alisson between the sticks. In fact, the only time he didn't name the shot-stopper in his starting XI was during Brazil's two friendlies with England and Spain in March when Bento stepped up.

Bento is in line to become Alisson's successor one day, and after impressing during those two friendlies, there was some expectation that Junior could have handed the 25-year-old's debut in Copa America. Brazil have had a lacklustre campaign in the tournament so far, winning just one of their three group games and finishing as runners-up.

Alisson meanwhile, has started in the opening three games, conceding two goals. But it appears that pundits and fans are not just worried about the goals Brazil have conceded. Despite making important saves for his country, the 31-year-old's decision-making has let Brazil down in some occasions.

Brazilian pundit Walace Borges said: "I see Alisson feel very pressured and he's very erratic when playing for Brazil, at Liverpool he doesn't make those mistakes and he doesn't come close to making an error. His decision-making is also a lot better, but I feel he makes those for Brazil due to pressure. I see him bothered in goal, and maybe that's because he gives people the opportunity to criticise him when wearing the Brazil shirt."

There have also been calls from fans for the goalkeeper to be replaced and for Bento to be given an opportunity. One wrote on social media: "Alisson has never produced the heights he does at Liverpool, he has not done something out of the ordinary in more than 6 years as a starter of the national team."

Another added: "I think it's about time that Brazil try a new goalkeeper. Bento performed well against England and Spain and he's only 25. All the other national teams have tested other goalkeepers but Brazil continues to insist on both Alisson and Ederson."

Although unlikely, it remains to be seen whether Alisson will be replaced for their quarter-final match against Darwin Nunez's Uruguay on Sunday. Despite receiving criticism for his performances at international level, this shouldn't be something that Liverpool take too much notice of as he has rarely let the club down since joining AS Roma in 2018.

Arne Slot meanwhile, will have a decision to make over the goalkeeper ahead of the new season, though, regarded as one of the best in the world, he has almost always produced solid displays for the Reds. As Borges says, the goalkeeper doesn't normally make mistakes for the Reds - but Slot will no doubt be questioning his national team form following a tricky spell.

The challenge for Alisson at the moment, however, is to reproduce his club form for his country and win back the confidence of fans - and put questions about his quality well and truly to bed.