Ronaldinho has led the tributes to Sao Paulo’s veteran goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni, who has played his last match for the club at the age of 42.
Ceni’s extraordinary career took in 23 seasons in Brazil’s Serie A and the one-club man racked up over 1,200 appearances for Sao Paulo and Brazil, for whom he won 16 caps.
But it was Ceni’s incredible goalscoring that will ensure his name goes down in history, with the goalkeeper hitting 131 goals over the course of his long career, an average of over five strikes each season, to ensure he is football’s most prolific goalkeeper.
Ronaldinho, who played in Brazil’s 2002 World Cup-winning squad with Ceni, wrote on Twitter: “Congratulations for your career and your trajectory. You are an example of an athlete and person. Good luck in this new phase.”
Ceni made his Sao Paulo debut in 1993 and has remained loyal to the club throughout his career, winning honours including three Brazilian league titles and two Copa Libertadores crowns.
The goalkeeper had planned to hang up his gloves at the end of last season but instead signed a one-year contract extension to play on for another year.
“This is my last year – not only for Sao Paulo, but as a professional footballer,” he said when announcing his retirement in April 2014.