David James has hailed Alisson as ‘the best goalkeeper in the world’ ahead of Saturday’s showdown with compatriot Ederson.
The battle between the two Brazilian shot-stoppers is one of several mouth-watering head-to-heads on show when Liverpool collide with Manchester City this weekend and Pep Guardiola’s man has established himself as his country’s No.1 in recent times.
But Alisson took advantage of an injury to his fellow countryman to make a rare Brazil start against Argentina in midweek and James believes he has the edge over his opposite number.
“Alisson is the best goalie in the world,” he said. “I love him.
“I’m slightly biased as having had a few chats with him, he’s a lovely bloke as well. Everything he does is top class.
“Ederson may be the Brazilian No.1 but the problem for him is he doesn’t get as much to do as Alisson.
“Ederson is also a fantastic goalkeeper and if you’d asked me 18 months ago, I’d have said those two are the best two goalkeepers in the world.
“Alli is still No.1, for me, as Edi hasn’t had as much to do. Over a period of time, you want to see your best goalies do more stuff.
“Not that Man City are complaining, as they have a treble to show for it, but when you have that sort of talent, you want to be using more of it.”
James represented both clubs over the course of a 26-year professional career and would not be drawn on who will take the spoils at the Etihad.
“I’ve seen glimpses of City at their best but not sustained periods of that this season, even though they are top of the league,” he said.
“It is similar for Liverpool, but for them even being in the top four is a vast improvement on last season.
“It’s not just because I’m an ex player of both teams, I think everyone will be scratching their heads on how this will go. It will be one of the games of the season.”
The former Reds and City gloveman has switched his attention from saving shots to saving footwear in recent years, as the co-creator of Football Rebooted alongside Utilita Energy.
The project, established in 2021, aims to prevent at least a million pairs of boots from ending up in landfill and save 136,000 tonnes of carbon – the same as taking 7,000 cars off the road for a year.
James converted his own vehicle from diesel to rapeseed oil while a Portsmouth player and has continued to champion environmental causes since his retirement, even using boiling water rather than milk for his cereal.
“I can’t even think of a number to put on how many boots I had as a player,” he said.
“Had I been aware of upcoming environmental issues, the idea of donating them rather than throwing them away would have been a lot more useful.
“Creating football’s biggest environmental movement sounded a bit optimistic two years ago but it is going really well and the need will always be there. We are contributing to people staying in the game and continuing to do what they love.”
Football Rebooted is football’s biggest environmental movement, preventing one million pairs of football boots ending up on landfill. Visit https://footballrebooted.co.uk/ to find out more