Cesar ready for Confed conquest
28 June 2013, 12:09
Brasilia - After being one of the main fall guys for a disappointing 2010 World
Cup, goalkeeper Julio Cesar is back in Brazil's good books for playing a
major part in the Selecao's march to the Confederations Cup final.
The oldest player in a squad comparatively lacking experience as coach
Luiz Felipe Scolari builds a team to lift the World Cup next year on
home soil, the 33-year-old came to this event hot after suffering the
indignity of relegation from the English Premier league with Queen's
That fate was not quite the way the veteran shot-stopper from Duque de
Caxias had expected to prepare for his end-of-season World Cup dress
But he has risen to hero status after his penalty save in Wednesday's
semifinal win over Uruguay provided the springboard for a gutsy, if
slightly fortuitous, victory at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte.
His stop from Diego Forlan's spotkick drew praise even in the immediate
aftermath of what was a crushing blow for Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez,
who swallowed his frustration to note that Cesar "has again shown what a
great keeper he is".
Julio Cesar's career has had its ups and downs ever since he made his debut for Flamengo 16 seasons ago.
An under-17 world champion in 1997 who made his full debut for Brazil in
2004, winning the Copa America - with a penalty shootout save against
And though he generally played second fiddle to Dida, he swiftly came to
the attention of Inter Milan, who initially farmed him out to Chievo on
But he was back within months to oust Francesco Toldo as first choice at
San Siro and after helping his country win the 2009 Confederations Cup,
his club career hit the ultimate high with Inter's victory in the
Champions League in 2010.
Yet weeks later he was deemed to be at fault for a Wesley Sneijder goal
in a World Cup quarterfinal loss to Holland and after Mano Menezes
replaced Dunga at the helm he lost his place.
His exile ended earlier this year after Scolari replaced Menezes and he has re-established himself as No 1 between the posts.
Of his save against Uruguay, Julio Cesar, closing in steadily on the 100
caps mark, said he had simply done his homework and that he knew Forlan
would fire his penalty to his left.
"I played with him at Inter Milan - but it was a good stop," he told reporters.
"Luckily, Julio Cesar made a really great stop," added fellow
London-based star, Chelsea defender David Luiz, whose tug on Diego
Lugano gave away the penalty.
Julio Cesar has managed to throw off his recent travails both with QPR
and with Brazil and is now one match away from a third international
But he will hope his real crowning glory will come in 12 months' time as
Brazil target what they really want more than anything: A sixth World
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