It may be a cliche but it’s true that every good team starts from a good goalkeeper, and in this case a superb goalkeeper. Rogerio Ceni became a world football legend when he reached an astonishing mark of one hundred goals. More than a hero for São Paulo supporters he is one those last players that really loves his team.
“All the other teams got a goalkeeper, our team only have Rogerio Ceni”.
This statement sums up the feelings of fans in relation to the goalkeeper, who, for many is already the greatest player in club’s history.
Before arriving at the Morumbi Club, Rogério started at Sinop and saved a penalty against Cáceres Team on his debut. That same year they took the championship from Mato Grosso and he won his first title as a professional. On September 7th 1990 the goalkeeper arrived in Sao Paulo for a fitness test and never left.
The beginning was difficult: "It was the sixth or seventh keeper, lived in Morumbi, it was very cold, but I worked hard to take my chance, " he later recalled. His break came in 1993. After winning the junior Copa Sao Paulo, the team who played in the Copa CONMEBOL. became known as the ‘Expressinho’.
After winning the title in a final against Peñarol, the Ceni became the understudy to Zetti (who was the second-choice goalkeeper of the Brazilian National Team). After waiting for another three years and after threats to leave the club, he finally won the place in Morumbi and by early 1997 he had assumed the post permanently. Meanwhile Ceni put into practice another facet of his game and the one which would make him world famous. Coach Muricy Ramalho allowed the goalkeeper to take free-kicks. Hi first goal came soon afterwards on 15th Febuary in a match against União São João.
As his career developed so did his scoring record. Only major titles seemed out of reach from the goalkeeper who was now being considered as unlucky. This was until 2005, when he Rogerio Ceni was central to the team winning the Paulista Championchips, the Copa Libertadores and even the Club World Cup when he earned the man of the match award for his performnce in the FIFA World Clubs Cup Final against the English side Liverpool.
The International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) have aknowledged Rogerio Ceni as the greatest goalkeeper/scorer in the history of the sport. According to the organization, however, the goalkeeper celebrated "only" 98 goals, and not one hundred. Two goals scored by Rogerio Ceni scored in friendly matches against the combined Santos and Flamengo sides and Uralan Elista from Russia are not considered by the institute.
To be honest with you my dear reader who cares if the IFFHS doesn’t count those two goals Rogerio Ceni is already a legend.
The Top Five Top goalscoring keepers in the history of professional football
1 - Rogério Ceni (Brazilian)100 goals (44 penalties /56 free kick)
2 – Jose Luis Chilavert (Paraguayan) 62 goals (45 penalties /17 free kicks)
3 – Rene Higuita (Colombian) 41 goals (37 penalties/ 4 free kicks)
4 - Jorge Campos (Mexican) 40 goals (9 penalties /31 free kicks)
5 – Ivan Ivankov (Bulgarian) 40 goals (40 penalties)