Alisson ’ s path to becoming the world ’s costliest goalkeeper may never have come about had his parents not been persuaded he would slim down and grow enough to succeed , his former goalkeeping coach told The Sun on Tuesday .
The 25 -year-old Brazilian number one — who signed for Liverpool for a record £ 67 million ($ 88 million, 75 million euros) from Italian side AS Roma this month — was too fond of biscuits and fizzy drinks and his parents preferred he stop football and return to his studies .
“ 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 ,” his mentor Daniel Pavan told The Sun.
“ 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. ”
Pavan said he told the parents they should not be concerned about his relatively small height at the time because he would definitely grow and become a commanding presence in the penalty area — he now stands at 6 feet 4inches ( 1. 93 metres ) .
“ 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 ,” said Pavan .
“ This made him often deprived of a position in the starting line-up and sometimes even the bench .
“ 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 ( 16 .51 centimetres ). ”
Alisson is a rarity for a footballer in that he hails from a middle class background , his mother is a real estate broker and his father was in the leather and footwear business .
But he was desperate to prove himself at Brazilian club Internacional , whose youth system he joined aged 15 . He went on to make over 100 appearances for them.
Pavan says he is enormously proud to have seen his protege play at the World Cup finals and as a result engineer a big money move to the Premier League.
He remained in touch with Alisson even after he joined Roma in 2016 for just 7 .5 million euros, a fraction of the price he cost Liverpool two years later.
“ Of the 13 years that he was at Internacional , eight were spent working with me ,” said Pavan .
“ 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 .”