Wednesday January 3 2018
Alisson: ‘I’d have played well last year…’

Roma goalkeeper Alisson says “I’d have played well, even right away” after being backup to Wojciech Szczesny last season.

The Brazilian has become the Giallorossi’s number 1, and Eusebio Di Francesco’s side have the best defensive record in Serie A so far this season.

“Taking stock it [2017] was a very positive year for me at Roma and with the national team,” Alisson said in a Q&A on Facebook.

“I took the number 1 shirt which is what I wanted, to be the starter in every match. It was a special year for me.

“I was waiting for this year, last season I didn’t play much but I worked so hard to get myself ready. When Roma bought me I was ready, I’d have played well, even right away.

“I had faith and I want to keep doing well for Roma.

“My best save of 2017? The one on Saul’s 90th minute header against Atletico [Madrid] was special. Maybe it wasn’t the most beautiful, but it was the one that was most important.”

Alisson was then asked to give his opinion on the first half of the season.

“Pretty positive, overall. In the Champions League finishing first in our group was very positive, we played very good matches against big teams, demonstrating our strength.

“Being first in such a difficult group with Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Qarabag, gives us confidence and shows what we can do if we have the right attitude.

“We did well in the league, but not enough to be first. I think we have to do more, and now we’re focused on Atalanta. It’ll be a very difficult match, but we’ll play to win.

“When we went to their stadium we saw their strength, Atalanta have done well in the past few years but we’re at home and we have to play our own game with strength and the desire to win.

“The goal against Sassuolo? Unfortunately I didn’t get there. Maybe I could have done something more, I always think that.

“For a team with our objectives that draw is like a defeat. The team isn’t happy, we’ve gone back a little compared to what we were doing.

“We have to be smart, learn from mistakes. The strength of our team is to play together.”

Not all questions were serious, as the goalkeeper was also asked why his beard looks so good…

“I use oil sometimes, but I’m just naturally like that!” Alisson laughed.

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