True goalscorers are worth their weight in gold – this is why the likes of Luis Suarez, Radamel Falcao and Zlatan Ibrahimovic command such hefty transfer fees. But goalkeepers can be equally valuable. Brian Clough was ridiculed for making Peter Shilton Nottingham Forest’s record signing in 1977, but later said: “I’d have paid almost any price.”
Where, then, does that leave Rogério Ceni, Sao Paolo’s 41-year-old keeper, whose fabulous free-kick helped his side to a 2-1 victory over Bahia on Saturday? Incredibly, it was the veteran’s 123rd goal of his career, a record for goalkeepers. All have come from free-kicks and penalties.
It was Ceni’s eighth goal in 27 league appearances this season, placing him joint-ninth in the Brazilian league’s scoring charts. Last season, the ninth spot in the Premier League was shared between Romelu Lukaku and Jay Rodriguez.
And the ex-Brazil international’s record is certainly the envy of these expensive Premier League hitmen…
Fernando Torres – 2013/14: 28 appearances, five goals
The £50m man’s last season in England was no less barren than his previous three, and Torres was finally offloaded to Milan in the summer.
Shane Long – 2013/14 – 2013/14: 30 appearances, seven goals
Long’s three in 15 for West Brom earned him a January move to Hull. His four in 15 for Hull earned him a £12 million move to Southampton. How much does that make Rogério Ceni worth?
Fabio Borini – 2013/14: 32 appearances, seven goals
The Italian scored winners against Chelsea and Man United during a successful loan spell at Sunderland, but he still wasn’t as prolific as Ceni.
Roberto Soldado – 2013/14: 28 appearances, six goals
Scored on debut for Spurs last year, but the Spanish international has since failed to rediscover the scoring touch that made him so feted at Valencia.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel – 2013/14: 25 appearances, one goal
Like Soldado, Van Wolfswinkel scored on debut – a wonderful header to rescue a point against Everton, which allowed Norwich fans to dream of the Dutchman bagging a hatful to catapult them up the table. Unfortunately, he didn’t, and Norwich were relegated.Reuse content