KLOPP’S LAST GAME SOUVENIR

ST. LOUIS, USA - Monday, August 1, 2016: AS Roma's goalkeeper Becker Alisson in action against Liverpool during a pre-season friendly game on day twelve of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Busch Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

How an ex-Liverpool goalkeeper helped coach John Achterberg sign Alisson

Departing Liverpool goalkeeping coach John Achterberg told This Is Anfield about the part he played in signing arguably the Reds’ greatest-ever ‘keeper, Alisson Becker.

With Jurgen Klopp leaving in the summer, goalkeeper coach Achterberg is also to depart after 15 years at the club.

On his watch, Liverpool signed one of their greatest-ever goalkeepers, Alisson. Achterberg previously explained to This Is Anfield how he scouted the Brazilian and why it involved a former-Liverpool goalkeeper.

“I had been watching, I think 2013 was the first time I saw him when he played at Internacional,” Achterberg told This Is Anfield in an exclusive interview in 2022.

“I asked [Alexander] Doni: ‘Are there any goalkeepers out in Brazil who I should look at?’ He said: ‘Yeah, look at Ali.’

“I always get information from other people or they text me, but I also go through all the leagues to see if there are new goalies coming up. Then I try to watch one game and, if I like it, then I keep following it.

“If I don’t like it, then I write it off because I’m looking at a special kind of goalie.”

In 2016, Liverpool played Roma in a pre-season friendly which saw Alisson and Mo Salah both start for I Giallorossi, with the Egyptian scoring the winner.

Achterberg revealed this was the first time he saw his future goalkeeper play live.

ST. LOUIS, USA - Monday, August 1, 2016: AS Roma's goalkeeper Becker Alisson in action against Liverpool during a pre-season friendly game on day twelve of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Busch Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I already told the boss about him and then obviously he liked the goalie in that game,” the Dutchman recounted.

“I said: ‘Yeah, that’s the one I was telling you about!’

“But we had also talked about other goalies. I talked in the past when [Manuel] Neuer was still at Schalke, when [Samir] Handanovic was at Udinese, when [Marc-Andre] Ter Stegen was in Germany at ‘Gladbach…

“At the time the owners wanted to try and find the best goalie out there, and I said to the boss: ‘That’s the only goalie I would pay money for.'”

Achterberg also explained how the recruitment process works and the extent of his involvement in a transfer. He said: “It works over a longer period.

“The club will know exactly how it works. I tell the boss and the boss has more communication with the owners and with the recruitment guys.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, July 22, 2020: Liverpool’s goalkeeper Andy Lonergan, goalkeeper Adrián San Miguel del Castillo, goalkeeper Alisson Becker, goalkeeping coach John Achterberg and goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher celebrate with the Premier League trophy as the Reds are crowned Champions after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Liverpool won 5-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I walk sometimes in the office with the recruitment guys [and say] ‘Oh did you see this one? Oh, I saw this one.’

“Just small talk really, then the club will do the work. I don’t get too much involved in that really. The boss is, in that side, in charge and the boss decides if he wants this one or that one.”

Having then also faced Alisson in the 2018 Champions League semi-final, Liverpool signed the Brazilian the following summer for £67 million – 260 appearances later that has proven to be money very well spent!