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Beyond the Last-gasp Heroes: Goalscoring keepers in all their Glory

September 08, 2015

- Grant Whittington

While we tend to think of goalkeeper’s scoring a last-minute goal acts of heroism, there are a surprising number of custodians who have delivered goals on a regular basis throughout their careers. For every game-changing, injury time strike (think of Jimmy Glass and how his crucial goal for Carlisle that kept them in the Football League), there are hundreds of goals that have been scored by ‘keepers in far less dramatic circumstances.

So let’s remove the occasional goalscorers from our minds and focus on the ‘keepers who have made the opposition’s net bulge throughout their careers. Here are three of the best…

Rogerio Ceni (Sao Paulo)

Given the flamboyant and often unpredictable nature of the Latin-American game, it stands to reason that many goalscoring custodians should be South American. Take Sao Paulo goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni, for example, who recently became one of the club’s top 10 scorers of all-time when he struck his 128th goal during a 3-2 win over Santos. Now 42 years’ old and renowned as a penalty and free-kick expert, Ceni has outscored prominent Premier League strikes including Mario Balotelli and Andy Carroll over the course of his career.

Jose Luis Chilavert (Paraguay)

For a while, this extrovert ‘keeper held the record for the most goals scored by a custodian. He was another penalty and free-kick expert, while his 67 career goals include the only instance of a goalkeeper scoring a hat-trick during a professional game. Chilavert also struck an impressive eight goals for his country, four of which helped to propel his side to the 2002 World Cup finals in Japan. Slightly more prolific and less eccentric than his Colombian rival Rene Higuita (he of the famous ‘scorpion save’ at Wembley), Chilavert remains a cult icon in South American football.

Hans-Jorg Butt (Bayer Leverkusen and Germany)

Despite scoring 34 goals in his distinguished career, penalty-expert Butt is most renowned for one incident during a game with Schalke in the Bundesliga in 2004. After coolly stepping up to convert a penalty for Leverkusen, Butt was left cursing his luck when the quick-thinking home side restarted the game and scored before he had returned to his net. The ‘head in hands’ moment aside, Butt has remains a prolific penalty taker throughout his career while also providing a robust barrier at the opposite end of the pitch.

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