Júlio César’s stay in MLS was short and sweet.
Toronto FC announced Friday that the Brazilian international goalkeeper has returned to English Premier League club, Queens Park Rangers FC, ending his loan to MLS after a half-season.
“At Toronto FC, we aspire to be internationally recognized as a leader in every aspect that involves our football club, and to be a consistent contender for championships in North America,” TFC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement. “With this ambitious vision comes the need for acquiring players of great character that leave an impact both on and off the pitch. Júlio César is certainly one of those players.
“On behalf of everyone at Toronto FC, I’d like to send our sincere thanks to QPR for the opportunity to bring Júlio to Toronto. We’d also like to thank Júlio for everything he brought to our club. He made an immediate impact and all of us are better for it.”
Júlio César, 34, joined Toronto FC on loan from QPR in February and made seven league appearances. He earned MLS Save of the Week honors for Week 7 and finished with a record of 3-4-0 with two clean sheets.
His departure paves the way for Joe Bendik, who has started 10 games in Júlio César’s absence, to become TFC’s full-time starer.
Júlio César left TFC ahead of the World Cup and started in all seven of Brazil’s matches in their fourth-place finish. His most recent action came under unfortunate circumstances in a historic 7-1 loss to Germany in the semifinals and then a 3-0 loss to The Netherlands in the third-place game.
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Before departing TFC, Júlio César told reporters in Toronto that it was likely that QPR would request his return following the World Cup.
“I’m surprised, coming here, with how well things are run here,” he said at the time. “Being in Canada, I feel very prepared for the World Cup. I feel like I’m a better person here after three months and experiencing what the club has to offer me in getting me ready for the World Cup.”