One of the defining moments of the Premier League season came from the unlikeliest of sources this past Sunday.
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With Liverpool and West Brom tied 1-1 deep into stoppage time, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker came up for a corner kick and became the sixth goalie in the league’s history to score a goal.
A stoppage-time winner from ALISSON! How big of a goal is this for Liverpool in the top-four chase 😱😱😱
— Planet Fútbol (@si_soccer) May 16, 2021
The Brazilian was visibly emotional after the goal, which he dedicated to his late father, Jose, who tragically drowned in February.
In a postgame interview with Sky Sports, Alisson acknowledged how difficult the past few months have been for him, and thanked the Premier League teams, players and managers who have offered words of support and encouragement. His family is back in Brazil, making it difficult to grieve together. But the soccer community has helped fill that role, at least in part.
“This is where we feel the love from God,” Alisson said. “This is how God loves us, through people.”
🗣 "If it wasn't for you I could never get through this."
Alisson Becker thanks everyone to for their well wishes during a difficult time in his life pic.twitter.com/bU9em3q1PT
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) May 16, 2021
In another postgame interview, he gave praise to God while once again thanking the soccer community for their support.
“You can’t explain a lot of things in life,” the 28-year-old said. “The only answer for me is God; He put His hand on my head today and allowed this to happen. It’s emotional for me, I’ve received incredible support recently [from the footballing fraternity]. I can’t thank you all enough for the support.”
— Alisson Becker (@Alissonbecker) February 25, 2021
An outspoken Christian who has “Belong to Jesus!” listed in his Twitter bio, Alisson has become known for helping baptize players and their family members, including teammate Roberto Firmino.
In an interview with LFC Globe shortly after joining Liverpool in 2018, Alisson gave the glory to God for the journey that brought him to the club.
“I have managed to achieve these things by believing in my dreams and having my faith in God,” he said. “I owe everything to God, who has taken me to a distant place from my hometown Novo Hamburgo in Southern Brazil and brought me over to Liverpool.”
After winning the Champions League in Alisson’s first season and the Premier League in his second, the 2020-21 campaign has been riddled with injuries and loss for Liverpool. Star defender Virgil van Dijk tore his ACL back in October and manager Jurgen Klopp’s mother passed away in January.
A late surge, however, has the Reds back in the thick of the race for a spot in next season’s Champions League. Alisson’s dramatic winner became even more vital with Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Burnley on Wednesday that moved them into a Champions League place heading into Sunday’s season finale.
The stage is set for a thrilling ending, as third-place Chelsea are just one point ahead of fourth-place Liverpool and fifth-place Leicester City, with the top four teams in the Premier League qualifying for the Champions League. Liverpool’s superior goal difference (24 vs. 20) means matching Leicester’s result should be enough for Liverpool to secure a top-four finish.
Chelsea travel to face Aston Villa, while Liverpool host Crystal Palace and Leicester host Tottenham. All three games kick off at 11 a.m. ET.
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