Júlio César (football goalkeeper, born 1979)

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Júlio César
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Júlio César with Inter in 2011
Personal information
Full name Júlio César Soares de Espíndola
Date of birth (1979-09-03) 3 September 1979 (age 39)
Place of birth Duque de Caxias, Brazil
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 1 12 in)[1]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Benfica
Number 12
Youth career
Grajau CC
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2005 Flamengo 130 (0)
2005–2012 Internazionale 228 (0)
2005 Chievo (loan) 0 (0)
2012–2014 Queens Park Rangers 24 (0)
2014 Toronto FC (loan) 7 (0)
2014– Benfica 40 (0)
National team
2004–2014 Brazil 87 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11 January 2016.
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12 July 2014

Júlio César Soares de Espíndola (born 3 September 1979), known as Júlio César (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈʒuliu ˈsɛzɐʁ]), is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Portuguese club Benfica.

Regarded as one of the best goalkeepers of his generation,[2] he spent seven years at Italian club Inter, where he won five Scudetti, the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League and the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup. He was awarded the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year title in both 2009 and 2010,[3] and was nominated for the 2009 Ballon d'Or, where he was voted into 21st place.[4]

Júlio César won 87 international caps for Brazil between 2004 and 2014. He was selected for the 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, in addition to two Copa América tournaments.

Club career

Early career

Júlio César began his professional career with Clube de Regatas do Flamengo in 1997. In January 2005, he moved to Italian Serie A club Chievo via Internazionale. Due to Serie A rules that impose a cap on the number of non-EU players clubs can sign from abroad, Júlio César could not join Inter at the time and was subsequently initially registered to Chievo through a deal between the two clubs.[5]

Internazionale

In July 2005, following the deal between Chievo and Inter, Júlio César officially signed a three-year contract with Inter.[6] The deal cost Inter €2.45 million.[7]

In July 2009, Júlio César was chosen by ESPN Brasil as the best player of the 2008–09 season. He also received the Prêmio Futebol no Mundo (Football in the World Award), designated to the best Brazilian footballer playing outside Brazil in that season.[8]

In November 2009, he signed a contract with Inter which would last until 2014, adding two more years to his contract.[9] His impressive form for Inter earned him praise from former Inter and Italy goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca, who stated his belief that Júlio César was the best goalkeeper in the world.[10] For his performances in the Champions League, he won the award UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year.[11]

Inter ended the 2011–12 season in sixth place, with the team just five goals short of equalling their all-time worst concession in a single Serie A campaign.[12] With some critics believing Júlio César had declined in form since the 2009–10 season,[13] Inter signed Slovenian goalkeeper Samir Handanović from Udinese to take over as first-choice goalkeeper.[14]

On 31 July 2012, Júlio César stated his intention to leave Inter, saying, "They have been seven beautiful and successful years, but, in a few days, my adventure with the Inter shirt will end. I would like to thank all of you fans for the support you have given me and I hope you have a lot more success to enjoy."[15]

Queens Park Rangers

On 29 August 2012, Júlio César confirmed that he had signed for English Premier League club Queens Park Rangers on a four-year contract.[16]

Following QPR's relegation from the Premier League at the end of his debut campaign, Júlio César was frozen out of the team. Despite this, he did not leave the club before the summer transfer window closed.[17] On 4 January 2014, Júlio César started his first game for Rangers against Everton in the third round of the FA Cup, which QPR lost 4–0.[18]

Toronto FC loan

On 7 February 2014, Júlio César confirmed that he had signed a loan for Major League Soccer (MLS) club Toronto FC.[19] The move was made to get some match action for him, prior to representing Brazil in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, as he had been replaced by Robert Green as QPR's first choice goalkeeper.[20] César made his debut with Toronto in their season opener at the Seattle Sounders on 15 March, which ended in a 1–2 away victory with both goals coming from newly acquired Jermain Defoe.[21] During week seven of the season, he was awarded MLS Save of the Week against David Texeira of FC Dallas.[22] He was recalled from loan and returned to QPR on 25 July 2014.[23][24]

Benfica

On 19 August 2014, Júlio César signed a two-year deal with Portuguese champions Benfica.[25][26] On 21 September, he debuted for Benfica in a Primeira Liga home win against Moreirense, 3–1.[27] On 26 January 2015, he set the fourth-best record ever at Benfica without conceding a goal in the Portuguese league, at 808 minutes.[28] On 9 May, he set a career record in terms of clean sheets with an average of 59 percent (16 clean sheets in 27 matches), surpassing his previous record of 53 percent at Inter.[29] On 4 July, he won the league's Best Goalkeeper award.[30]

International career

Júlio César was included in Brazil team for the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup, but did not play. His first international appearance came during the Copa América in 2004.

Júlio César at the 2010 World Cup

Júlio César was included in the squads for the 2006 World Cup, 2009 Confederations Cup, 2010 World Cup.

Júlio César (centre), Fred and Thiago Silva lining up at the 2013 Confederations Cup

Júlio César was part of the 23 players called by coach Luiz Felipe Scolari to play in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. He played three matches in Group A and kept two clean sheets. In the semifinal against Uruguay, Júlio César saved a penalty kick taken by Diego Forlán in the 14th minute. Brazil went to win the match by 2–1, and Júlio César was named man of the match.[31][32]

On 2 June 2014, Júlio César was named in Brazil's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[33] In the team's round of 16 match, Júlio César saved from Mauricio Pinilla and Alexis Sánchez in the penalty shootout against Chile, sending Brazil through to a quarter-final against Colombia.[34] His efforts earned him the Man of the Match award.[35]

Júlio César at the 2014 World Cup.

Dramatically, he conceded five goals against Germany within the first half in the semi-final, as the Germans went on to win 7–1. After Brazil lost to the Netherlands 0–3 in a third place play-off match, Júlio César admitted this was probably his last World Cup: "To play at the Copa America in 2015, at the age of 35, would be quite complicated. To go there without having the 2018 World Cup in mind would be selfish on my part."[36][37]

Style of play

One of the best goalkeepers in the world in his prime,[38] Júlio César was known for his athleticism, strength and reflexes, as well as his ability to rush off his line.[39][40] A left-footed goalkeeper, he is also known for his ball skills and distribution, as well as his penalty stopping.[40][41][42]

Personal life

Júlio César, a Roman Catholic,[43] is married to Brazilian model and actress Susana Werner at the Candelária Church.[44][45] Together, they have two children: Cauet, born in 2002, and Giulia, born in 2005. They both go to ACS Hillingdon International School.[46] He is sponsored by Asics.[47]

Career statistics

Club

As of 30 September 2015[48][49][50][51][52][53]
Club League Cup[54] Continental[55] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Flamengo 1997 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
1998 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1999 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2000 16 0 1 0 0 0 17 0
2001 26 0 6 0 0 0 32 0
2002 16 0 0 0 5 0 21 0
2003 37 0 9 0 0 0 46 0
2004 34 0 11 0 0 0 45 0
Total 130 0 28 0 5 0 163 0
Chievo (loan) 2004–05 0 0 0 0 0 0
Internazionale 2005–06 29 0 4 0 7 0 40 0
2006–07 32 0 0 0 6 0 38 0
2007–08 35 0 1 0 8 0 44 0
2008–09 36 0 2 0 7 0 45 0
2009–10 38 0 3 0 13 0 54 0
2010–11 25 0 4 0 10 0 39 0
2011–12 33 0 1 0 6 0 40 0
Total 228 0 15 0 57 0 300 0
Queens Park Rangers 2012–13 24 0 2 0 26 0
2013–14 0 0 1 0 1 0
Total 24 0 3 0 27 0
Toronto FC (loan) 2014 7 0 0 0 7 0
Benfica 2014–15 23 0 4 0 3 0 30 0
2015–16 6 0 1 0 2 0 9 0
Total 29 0 5 0 5 0 39 0
Career Total 418 0 51 0 67 0 536 0

International

As of 8 July 2014[56][57][58]
National team Club Season Caps Goals
Brazil Flamengo 2004 9 0
Chievo 2004–05 1 0
Inter Milan 2005–06 1 0
2006–07 2 0
2007–08 11 0
2008–09 15 0
2009–10 14 0
2010–11 7 0
2011–12 4 0
QPR 2012–13 10 0
2013–14 1 0
Toronto FC 2014 10 0
Total 87 0

Honours

Club

Flamengo[59][60]
Inter Milan[59][60]
Benfica

International

Brazil

Individual

References

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  54. Includes Copa do Brasil, Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana, Taça de Portugal and Taça da Liga
  55. Includes Copa Libertadores and UEFA Champions League
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External links