Marcio scored both from the penalty spot and free kicks in his home country of Brazil. Source: Atletico Goianiense
Marcio scored both from the penalty spot and free kicks in his home country of Brazil. Source: Atletico Goianiense

When goalkeepers score: A penalty kick specialist who trained in secret despite the bans

Football OlyBet 30.03.2024

Scoring goals is a real art in football, which of course is best done by strikers. However, some midfielders and defenders are undeniably good at it too – we have already introduced you to the latter on Olybet.TV.

However, it can happen sometimes that the goalkeeper’s name also appears on the scoreboard, and it is not connected with an own goal. We’ll now introduce you to these extraordinary goalies as part of another ten-part series.

7th place – Márcio (41 goals)

Márcio Luiz Silva Lopes Santos Souza, or simply Márcio as he is known in Brazil, began his football journey by the Atlantic Ocean in the capital of his home state of Sergipe, Aracaju, a city with a population of 665,000.

However, the smallest state of Brazil – which is half the size of Estonia with 21,910 km2 – became too small for him, and in his teens, he caught the eye of the two-time state champion operating in the neighbouring state, Bahia Esporte Club, who played in the first league at the time.

This is how Márcio’s professional career in Bahia began, not only as a goalkeeper, but also as a free kick taker.

Ceni and Chilavert as influences

“It all started in the youth classes when I was still playing in Bahia,” Márcio has recalled and pointed out compatriot Rogerio Ceni and Paraguayan Jose Luis Chilavert as important examples. “They were the ones who opened the doors, not only for me but also for other goalkeepers to take free kicks.”

“Because of them, when I was young, I practised free kicks for fun, but when I turned pro, [then coach] Vadão allowed me to continue taking the standards,” he has said.

Worth mentioning that Márcio did all this in training, not in matches because he did not get to play too much in Bahia. Namely, Emerson, who was exceptionally stable, played the role of the main goalkeeper there at that time.

Márcio’s only opportunity came when his older colleague was injured. Thus, after four seasons, he got 42 matches under his belt, which was clearly not enough for the young goalie. Therefore, he quietly began to look around.

In 2006, Márcio decided to move on to Fortaleza-CE, a move that did not prove to be overly successful. There, he played only two games after the season, so he had to look for a club again. That’s how Márcio ended up at Atletico Goianiense, where – and here we’re getting ahead of a lot of things – he became a legend.

Perseverance and patience paid off

As fate would have it, in his very first season, Márcio helped to put an end to the club’s 19-year title drought, helping them to become Goias state champions. True, the contribution of our story’s main hero to this gold medal was not too great, because he spent the lion’s share of the year on the bench: he was on the court in only five matches. But in them, he always brought home three points!

In his second season at Atletico, Márcio also had to limit himself to the role of a reserve goalie – making six appearances – but during these, he managed to demonstrate his hidden talent to fans for the first time: the ability to take free kicks!

Namely, he was given a chance in the match with Vila Nova, and Márcio did not let the coaches down, spinning the ball (with the help of a little luck, as he said) into the net! The audience and teammates cheered, and the foundation for legend status was laid.

Márcio’s goals:

“After all, I had been encouraged in Bahia to continue with standards, and when I arrived at Atletico, I just continued to practice. Until I started scoring goals too!” Márcio recalled and admitted that in Fortaleza they tried to divert him from this path.

“The head coach there didn’t really allow me to practice free kicks, but I didn’t listen to him and just continued secretly. I respected the fact that he didn’t give me opportunities on the field, but the training ban – no!”

Promotion to the first and championship leagues

The year 2008 was not significant for Márcio, however, only because of the first goal. They also won Brazil’s third strongest league (Serie C) with Atletico and moved up to the first league, where the main hero of our story also became the main goalkeeper.

In 2009, Márcio and Atletico thus played in Serie B and did exceptionally well. The season ended in fourth place, which meant that after a 24-year break, the club was promoted to the top league of the country!

Márcio’s contribution to this? 37 games, countless saves and 3 goals!

In the country’s top league, Atletico didn’t manage to do much as a club with a small budget, although… In some ways, just staying there can be considered a big success, because when Márcio was asked after the end of his career what was his most memorable moment, he said the following:

“As strange as it is to say, staying in the country’s top league in 2010 is the thing that has kept me going the most.”

Encounters with three rivals

A year later, in 2011, Atletico got relegated from the Premier League, but the Goias state championship offered a bit of consolation.

After that, the already familiar struggle for survival in Serie B continued, which included, for example, the 2014 state championship title, until in 2016 they reached the championship again!

However, Márcio did not go to the Premier League for the second time with Atletico, as after ten years at the club and 500+ matches, he moved on to Goias EC.

There he continued in his way: as a main goalie, scoring goals and becoming a state champion. However, Márcio ended his career with the third big one in the state of Goiás: EC Goiania.

Confusion with penalties

Now that we know the backstory of his career, let’s give the mic to Márcio himself (who by the the way is working as an agent now), once more. First, regarding how despite the 25 penalties he took in his career, he occasionally got confused when taking 11-meter free kicks.

“As funny as it sounds, during penalties I was often confused, because I started thinking in my head: ‘okay, the goalkeeper thinks like this.’ But to think such thoughts at the most crucial moment… in fact, I should have thought like a field player, but sometimes it was difficult to change myself,” Márcio admitted that he had once even handed over the right to make the shot to a friend.

For penalty kicks, the replays mattered

As for the 18 free kicks that Márcio took in his career, the key to his success was sheer will and insane repetitions.

“I believe that no coach would dare to encourage the goalkeeper to take free kicks himself, because that way the team is always put at a small risk. The desire to score must come from the goalkeeper himself: he must show initiative, after which good coaches can guide him.

In the early years of my career, I made about 100 shots a day, but as time went on, the number of repetitions decreased. Although one reason for this was that I was getting better myself, the main thing was that it was just plain tiring. If you do the same movement all the time, it gets tiring and can also cause injuries,” he said.

Duel with idol Rogerio Ceni

To wrap things up, Márcio will reflect on the confrontation with the idol, the most productive goalkeeper in history, Rogerio Ceni (whom we will also write about at some point).

Namely, Márcio and Ceni also met in the Brazilian Premier League, and the latter scored against the main hero of our current story. “It happened in 2010 at the Brazilian championship and of course, it was a penalty. The match ended in a 1:1 draw,” Márcio recalled.

He was close to scoring against Ceni, but fate just wanted it differently. “In the next match between us, I got injured, so I was replaced. However, two minutes later we earned a penalty. It would have been my chance, but what can you do… you could say that Rogerio was just lucky,” concludes Márcio with a laugh.


When goalkeepers score article series:


P.S. If you’re interested in our “When Defenders Score” series, you can check them out here:


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