InterviewAlisson Becker on Champions League return, Napoli, Arthur and more
Alisson Becker detailed the excitement running through the Liverpool squad at starting their 2022-23 Champions League campaign.
The Reds' European journey begins with an encounter against Serie A outfit Napoli at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Wednesday evening in Group A.
Liverpoolfc.com spoke with Alisson before the squad's departure for Italy, as he discussed another meeting with Gli Azzurri, the return of European football to the fixture schedule and the recent arrival of fellow Brazilian Arthur Melo.
Read on for the full interview with the goalkeeper...
Ali, first Champions League game of the season – this is when the schedule really starts to heat up. How much are you looking forward to these European nights again?
It's amazing. We love the Champions League, everybody does. We are really excited about that and starting in the best way possible, playing against a big team that we have played in the last seasons already. Everybody is really excited for that.
In terms of Napoli, they've had a great start in Serie A and you do know them quite well from recent seasons. What can you learn about them from the previous games that may help tomorrow night?
They are doing well, they have a great manager – I worked with [Luciano] Spalletti back in Roma. They changed a lot the way they play since the first time I played them for Liverpool in 2018. So they changed players, changed manager, they have a lot of young players full of energy and really talented players. We know that it's going to be a really tough game for us. We have to put everything that we have, give 100 per cent to get the three points, which is our main goal.
When we think about Napoli, a lot of people will remember your save at Anfield in December 2018. If you hadn't made that save, obviously Liverpool don't go on to win the Champions League that year...
Inside Anfield: Liverpool 1-0 Napoli in 2018
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It was amazing. I can remember as well that day was the day me and my wife discovered together that we were going to have a baby boy – she was pregnant at the time. That day we revealed to our friends in our box after the match. So it was a special night because of that, because of the save as well. It's something that will be always in everybody's memory, my memory as well. It's part of my job but when you have those kind of moments, it's amazing to keep that fresh in your memory.
You said after the Everton game that consistency is now coming back in terms of performance, and obviously the Champions League brings more games. Hopefully that regular game time means that rhythm and consistency will come sooner...
I think when you play a game every three days, it helps you on the consistency because you don't have too much time to think, you only need to have action. This is good for us, this is something that we need as a team. It's a big challenge for us, playing every three days, not too much time to rest, but it's the challenge that we want. We want to play games, we want to play Champions League big games, we want to play Premier League big games as well, so we are looking forward for that moment. I think we had enough time to train, enough time to prepare ourselves and now we just have to keep on going. As I said before, against Everton I saw the team improving a lot in respect of the other games. Obviously the result wasn't the best one, wasn't the one that we wanted, but we are working on that. I'm sure that in the next games the results are going to come.
Finally, a word on Arthur, someone you know well from the Brazil set-up. How pleased are you that he's joined for the season and what qualities will he bring to the squad?
I'm really happy about that. Arthur is a good friend of mine, [I] played together with him in the national team, we won the Copa America back in 2019. He's a really talented player, really top qualities, Brazilian way to play, a player who likes to have the ball, good quality on the passes, he can break the lines with the passes, long balls as well, long passes as well with quality. So I think he brings even more quality to our team and he likes to play the way we play. Obviously he needs a little bit of time to adapt to the Premier League, to the rhythm of the game. But I'm sure with the team helping him it will be really quick for him to adapt.