Brazil goalkeeper Alisson Becker is hoping his positive experiences of facing Lionel Messi will help him keep the Argentina star at bay in Tuesday’s Copa America semi-final.
Alisson will go head-to-head with Messi once more when Copa America hosts Brazil take on old rivals Argentina at Estadio Mineirao.
The goalkeeper has faced Messi’s Barcelona four times across the past two seasons, with both Roma and Liverpool.
On both occasions – in the Champions League quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively – Alisson’s sides have ultimately come out on top over two legs.
The first clash saw Roma miraculously erase a deficit in the second leg, with Kostas Manolas firing the Italian side into the semi-final of the 2017-18 Champions League.
Liverpool did the same this season, with Divock Origi’s brace guiding Liverpool in their semi-final second leg to move onto the final, where they topped Tottenham.
Messi did score past Alisson twice at Camp Nou on May 1, but Liverpool’s goalkeeper kept a clean sheet in the second leg as the Reds completed the miraculous comeback at Anfield.
And Alisson believes if Brazil can replicate the performances of Roma and Liverpool, they will have a chance of stopping Messi in his tracks.
“I have confidence in my team, in my work, in the conviction that we are going to make a great game, we have to be prepared for everything,” Alisson told a news conference.
“Roma and Liverpool were both very different. Fortunately they were two happy stories for my side.
“I was on two teams that played collectively. Our team has played like this, as a team, with a relationship. I have now lived two important experiences.
“But in a game like this there is no room for error against Argentina, everyone has to give their best.”
Alisson played a crucial role in Brazil reaching this stage, making a fine save from Gustavo Gomez’s penalty in the shoot-out win over Paraguay in the last eight.
“I do not see myself as a hero,” Alisson said. “If I make saves, and the others do not convert their chances, it’s no good.
“We all know that football has circumstances within the game, so we have to be prepared for everything.”Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.