World Cup 2014

World Cup Memories: Toronto FC goalkeeper Julio Cesar hopes to emulate childhood hero with trophy in Brazil

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