Real Madrid take on Liverpool tonight in the first leg of their mouth-watering Champions League quarter-final tie on Tuesday night, but it could well have been a different goalkeeper between the sticks for Los Blancos.
Both Thibaut Courtois and Alisson Becker were in impressive form coming into the 2018 summer transfer market and Real Madrid wanted to sign a shot-stopper.
In the summer of 2018 Real Madrid were looking to sign another goalkeeper that would be able to compete with Keylor Navas, and after several failed attempts their mission to bring in a goalkeeper came to fruition.
Alisson had an advantage over the likes of David de Gea and Kepa Arrizabalaga, as he was having an amazing season with Roma, who had reached the semi-finals of the Champions League after famously knocking out Barcelona. He was a cheaper option and he even voiced his desire to play for Real Madrid over Liverpool.
“It is news that alters the ego, there’s no denying that,” Alisson said back in 2018 when asked about Real Madrid‘s interest.
“People get satisfaction when they get recognition. I’m very happy to have that recognition. It means I’m doing my job well, that I’m being watched. Even more so when you hear about Madrid.”
Roma were also keen to cash in on the goalkeeper and it seemed that a move to Real Madrid before the World Cup was a done deal.
However, the Giallorossi delayed any departure until the end of the World Cup, as they and their sporting director at the time, Monchi, thought it would increase Alisson‘s value.
Real Madrid wanted to seal a 50 million euro deal for Alisson before the World Cup, but it wasn’t to be as the move started to have complications.
Up stepped Courtois
The Belgian No.1 had shone at the World Cup as his side won the third-place playoff against England, eliminating Alisson‘s Brazil on the way.
Courtois took the decision to leave Chelsea and that forced the club to listen to offers. Then, for just 35 million euros, he made the move to Real Madrid.
Almost three years on from Los Blancos‘ mission to find a new shot-stopper, Courtois and Alisson will face each other again on Tuesday night.