Rogerio Ceni: The goalkeeper who saves and scores

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A goalkeeper is entrusted to safeguard his goal posts in all situations.

His primary role is to prevent the opposition from scoring a goal. Along with his primary duty there comes the responsibility of goal-kicks, organising the defence, commanding the box, and arranging the wall in case of a free-kick. He is also in charge of marking and arranging the defence in set-piece situations.

There are some goalkeepers who brings different dimensions to football games. Rene Higuita gave goalkeeping a different dimension with his extraordinary methods and abilities, while Jose Luiz Chilavert and Rogerio Ceni became famous not only because of their goalkeeping abilities.

Even though most of the goalkeepers are trusted with the responsibility of taking free-kicks in their own half, very rarely do we see a goalkeeping stepping up to score a goal via a penalty or a free-kick.

Among this batch, the most famous and established custodian will be Brazilian Ceni with Paraguayan Chilavart a distant second. Ceni and Chilavert has scored plenty of goals via free-kicks, and recently we have witnessed a penalty specialist goalkeeper in the form of Hans-Jorg Butt.

Butt had scored in almost all the European competitions including the UEFA Champions League outings. He had a 100% record at one point in time and went on to register 32 goals to his name.

These were the goalkeepers who made name for themselves due to their additional skills.

Even though there were many goalscoring goalkeepers, including Chilavert who registered 74 goals to his name, none of them matched Ceni.

Ceni, who is a one-club man as he has spent more than two decades with Sao Paulo, continues to amaze people with his goalscoring abilities. He has a record number of free-kick goals and penalties registered to his name for a goalkeeper.

Recently he went on to score his 117th goal in his career for Sao Paulo - at the grand age of 40. He continues to amaze people with his extraordinary abilities at a time when playing careers are getting shorter and shorter.

He achieved this feat in 1077 matches. Even though Ceni is famous for his goalscoring abilities, he was a decent custodian as well. Ceni earned 16 Brazilian caps, and this was possible because of his goalkeeping abilities.

He was part of Brazil's FIFA World Cup-winning team in 2002 and also steered Sao Paulo to three Brazilian championships among many other trophies. He was among the best players in Brazil for over a decade.

Individually, Ceni stood out from his team-mates with brilliance behind the bar as well as in front of goal. In the 2005 Club World Cup final, he pulled of an amazing save to deny Steven Gerrard to register his name as the player of the tournament. His numerous individual plaudits are a measure of his abilities.

Some of the wonderful saves and goals can be witnessed in the video at the top of the page, this is just a tribute to his wonderful career. It would take a herculean effort to combine all his moments of magic as those were too many to include.


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