GK Rivalries - Allison v Ederson
This edition of goalkeeping rivalries features an ongoing affair, a goalkeeping battle which stretches further than a battle for number one jersey for the Brazilian national side, but also a fight for the top of the Premier League table.
Allison Ramses Becker and Ederson Santana de Moraes arrived in England a year apart, in 2018 to Liverpool and 2017 to Manchester City respectively.
Whilst Allison is the preferred choice in for the native Brazil, Ederson has won the Premier League title in both of his seasons in England shores, pipping Allison’s Liverpool to the post by a single point to get one over on his higher-ranking countryman.
Seemingly separated by the tiniest of margins, the Brazilian counterparts have taken an almost identical path to their success on these shores.
Allison, a year Ederson’s senior, arrived to allay a longstanding goalkeeping issue, notably after Loris Karius’s disastrous Champions League Final display which cost the Reds Europe’s biggest prize.
There were many a raised eyebrow at the reported £68 million paid to Roma, but Allison’s arrival rung in the defensive solidity that Liverpool were so evidently lacking, and boasted the leanest goals against in the 2018/19 season.
Ederson, almost identically the season before, arrived amidst a goalkeeping crisis at the Etihad, with Claudio Bravo failing to impress in his debut season and Joe Hart on the decline, Pep Guardiola shelled out a slightly more modest sum of £35 million to capture their man from Benfica. City have went onto win five domestic trophies, including this season’s unprecedented treble.
In that time Ederson has kept 36 clean sheets in 74 appearances, mirroring Allison who has brought a tangible return in the form of defensive records and moments of individual brilliance (notably in the Champions League semi final against Barcelona at Anfield). The pair have had the instantaneous impact in the Premier League, the effect many would have expected given the astronomical amounts paid.
Despite his exploits domestically, boasting an already illustrious honours list, Ederson has not been able to get the better of Allison on a continental scale. Allison, who was named in the Champions League Squad of the Season for 2017/18 (and has an excellent chance of achieving that again), has not only went further in European competition, but is also favoured by Brazil boss Tite.
Ederson has just four caps for the senior side and has played second fiddle to Allison for the past three seasons and that is unlikely to change for this summer’s Copa America. He was handed the number one spot for the embarrassing 1-1 draw with Panama in the last international break, which is unlikely to have done his chances any good.
Brazil, who have long since been stigmatised as a nation without a great deal of goalkeeping talent, must be in awe of the enviable selection they now have at their disposal. It is sure to be a fascinating head-to-head in the years running up to the Qatar World Cup and one slip up could alter their path.