The impressive offseason overhaul in Toronto continued on Friday.
Toronto FC confirmed long-standing rumors by announcing at a press conference that they have acquired Brazilian international Julio Cesar. The veteran goalkeeper joins the Reds on loan for the 2014 season from Queens Park Rangers and becomes the latest big-name player on the roster, joining the likes of Designated Players Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe.
“Adding a player of Júlio César’s experience and ability only strengthens our club both in the short and long term,” said general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement. “We are committed to creating a culture of winning at TFC, and there are few people in the world of soccer with a proven track record of consistently getting results that Julio has. We are very excited to bring him to Toronto FC.”
- Get the latest news and notes at TorontoFC.ca!
The 34-year-old Julio Cesar, who made no league appearances during the first half of QPR's season, is in search of consistent playing time ahead of this summer's World Cup in Brazil. He started and went the distance in a 4-0 FA Cup loss to Everton in January, but prior to that had not played in a game in any competition since a 2-0 defeat to the Toffees back in April 2013.
The Duque de Caxias, Brazil native arrives in Toronto with an impressive resume. Julio Cesar has 77 caps with the Seleccao, won the 2009 Confederations Cup and was the starting goalkeeper for his country at the 2010 World Cup.
Julio Cesar has also played for some notable clubs in his career. He started with Flamengo back in 1998 before transferring to Italian giants Inter Milan in 2005. After a seven-year stay, which included a UEFA Champions League title, Queens Park Rangers signed the 6-foot-1 goalkeeper as part of their attempt to rise to prosperity in the English Premier League.
Julio Cesar was initially a regular for the club, starting in each of the 24 matches he played in during his first campaign. QPR struggled for success, however, and were relegated following the 2012-13 campaign.
The Brazilian then found himself out of favor in the club's return to the England's second division, losing the starting spot to former England international Robert Green.
In total, Julio Cesar has more than 250 appearances at the club level and he also has experience playing in the UEFA Champions League and CONMEBOL's Copa America.