Pepijn Lijnders has explained how Alisson “doesn’t speak a lot,” but revealed one moment from this season that showed he is a leader for Liverpool nonetheless.
Alisson is widely acknowledged as one of the most affable characters in the Reds’ dressing room; a popular figure from day one, who has slotted in perfectly.
That only adds to the world-class quality he provides on the pitch, with the Brazilian a prime example of the balance of ability and personality that Jurgen Klopp and his staff covet.
Not a native English speaker, it has taken time for Alisson to adjust to the language barrier on Merseyside—as could be seen in his interaction with Andy Robertson after the Champions League success in 2019.
But speaking to Goal, Lijnders revealed how his words to the team ahead of this season’s clash with Arsenal at the Emirates showed that “when he speaks, he speaks the right things.”
“When you look back to all the decisive moments we had, you will always find one, two or three moments from Alisson,” he explained.
“And you will not find a more professional, more humble person than him.
“We walked out at Arsenal, and me and Jurgen were standing in front of the team before they left the dressing room.
“We said the things we needed to say, and then I heard him say to all the team ‘guys, no arrogance here, we have to be humble. When we have to run, we run. When we have to be together, we are together’.
“I hear it in my right ear and I look at Jurgen. It went in, you know?
“He’s talking about us being humble, and therein lies the secret to the future, to be honest.
“He doesn’t speak a lot, but when he speaks, he speaks the right things.
“I like him a lot, and not only because of what he brought us, but as a person as well.”
The Reds’ 2-1 defeat at Arsenal came, of course, due to rare mistakes from both Alisson and Virgil van Dijk, but his comments before the game outline the mentality of the squad.
Liverpool had already won the Premier League by that point, but produced an overwhelming display that was only undone by two errors and profligacy in the final—Sadio Mane was the only player able to finish one of 24 shots.
There is a humility throughout the squad that has provided the backbone for their success so far, and the messages coming out of the club in the wake of a first league title since 1990 suggest this will not change.
With a quietly influential character such as Alisson setting the example for his team-mates, there is a conviction to these assertions.
Given two of the biggest presences in the squad have since left the club, with Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren departing on Monday, this is an encouraging sign as new leaders take their place.