There are just 11 days until the 2014 World Cup and the MLS player who arguably has the best shot to win it all is Brazil No. 1 goalkeeper Julio Cesar of Toronto FC.
After a 2010 tournament which saw him commit a critical error in the quarterfinal loss to the Netherlands, he hopes he looks a little bit more like his hero in the 2014 edition on home soil.
When we [Brazil] beat Italy in ’94 in the World Cup final, [goalkeeper] Claudio Taffarel was my idol. My whole life, he is my reference [point].
When I was young, I remember very well when we beat Italy in penalty kicks [watch video above] and I remember going around the streets, screaming a lot. When I saw Taffarel, watched Taffarel save the penalty against [Italian forward Daniele] Massaro, I started to think, 'imagine if that was me.'
After a lot of years, I have the opportunity to do the same. When you are young - especially in Brazil, because football in Brazil is the first sport - you want to be a professional player.
I thank God for the opportunity to have won many things in my career, but I’m missing just one thing – to win the World Cup. That’s the opportunity I’m waiting for.
WORLD CUP MEMORIES:
Alexi Lalas: Legend's all-time favorite moment was a hand ball
Clint Dempsey: Childhood dreams come true with a single goal
Bruce Arena: First World Cup game? Only one of the biggest upsets in history
Landon Donovan: Baggio's missed PK in '94 leaves profound impact on US great
Kyle Beckerman: The Saudi Arabian who inspired RSL's World Cup hopeful
Jason deVos: 1986ers pave the way for future Canadian national team star
Will Johnson: Timbers captain experiences agony and ecstasy in 120 minutes in 1998
Michael Bradley: The miracle comeback that he helped author in South Africa 2010
Carlos Valderrama: The goal that brings goosebumps to every Colombian
Clint Mathis: The Mohawk and the Red Sea in South Korea
Robbie Keane: Lady Luck shines on Republic of Ireland in 2002
Tim Cahill: RBNY star goes down in the history books in 2006
Grant Wahl: How the 1998 final shaped a Sports Illustrated writer's career
Jermain Defoe: Consolation for not making it to Brazil? His goal in 2010
Nick Rimando: RSL 'keeper fulfills a dream hatched in Pasadena in 1994
Peter Vermes: Sporting KC boss lived the greatest World Cup atmosphere
Matt Besler: The chills and thrill of Landon Donovan's Algeria goal
Mike Magee: Best World Cup PK ever taken? Of course, it was Zizou
Gregg Berhalter: The greatest goal you've probably never seen
Javier Morales: The World Cup-winning goal he couldn't bare to watch