Ceni voted Brazil's best Libertadores star ahead of Pele
Ceni was selected by 77 percent of respondents to the Pasion Libertadores internet poll, a site sanctioned by South American football's governing body CONMEBOL, reports Xinhua
Pele, widely regarded as the greatest player in history, was second with 18.2 percent and Zico third with 4.2 percent.
Ceni, who at 39 is still playing for Brazilian Serie A club Sao Paulo, has played in two Copa Libertadores winning teams in 1993 and 2005. Pele won the tournament in 1962 and 1963.
During the 2005 tournament, he scored five goals as the team’s designated free-kick specialist and penalty-taker.
The Copa Libertadores, South America’s equivalent of the UEFA Champions League, is the continent’s most prestigious club tournament. “I am delighted. This is an award for everyone associated with Sao Paulo, not just me,” Ceni said upon hearing the news.
“It is a reflection of the great success Sao Paulo has had as a club in the Copa Libertadores, the efforts of my teammates and the support of the fans.”
Ceni, who is contracted to Sao Paulo until the end of the year, has not decided whether to continue in 2013.
His 22-year career includes 1016 matches and 103 goals for Sao Paulo as well as 17 international appearances for Brazil.