Julio Cesar Completes Transfer to MLS Franchise Toronto from QPR

Alex DimondUK Lead WriterFebruary 11, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 30:  Julio Cesar of Brazil celebrates his team's third goal during the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Final match between Brazil and Spain at Maracana on June 30, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Toronto FC, coached by former Blackburn, Tottenham and QPR defender Ryan Nelsen, have snapped up one of the world’s top goalkeepers, Julio Cesar.

Updates from Friday, Feb. 14

Cesar has agreed to a loan move from QPR and will link up with his new side for the start of the 2014 MLS season.

The news was confirmed by Kurtis Larson of the Toronto Sun, who reports:

Brazilian international goalkeeper Julio Cesar will join Toronto FC on loan from the Championship’s Queens Park Rangers ahead of the 2014 MLS season, the club announced Friday morning.

Toronto's general manager detailed the loan deal on Friday, according to Luke Wileman of TSN: 

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Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari had earlier confirmed to Goal.com on Tuesday that a deal was set to be completed.

Scolari, after announcing his squad for the March 5 friendly against South Africa in Johannesburg, revealed to the media that Cesar was set to join Toronto, giving the goalkeeper valuable first-team football ahead of this summer's World Cup.

Cesar had seen his position as the Selecao's No. 1 come under serious discussion in recent months after seeing himself sidelined this season at Championship side Queens Park Rangers.

Cesar has made just one appearance for Harry Redknapp's side this season, with the West London club reportedly desperate to get the former Inter Milan player's expensive salary off their books at the first opportunity.

Cesar will join England international Jermain Defoe and United States stalwart Michael Bradley in a star-studded Toronto side for the new MLS season.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 11: Brazilian football team coach Luiz Felipe Scolari attends a press conference ahead of the international friendly match against South Africa at Headquarters of Vivo, sponsor of Brazilian Football Confederation - CBF on
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

At Tuesday's press conference, Scolari told reporters:

Julio is in our group, he should be officially introduced to his new club. Toronto should be finalising the last few details and he should be in great condition. There will be no problem with him.

Lots of players arrives in the United States thinking it will be easy and then end up not playing. They stay for four or five months and then leave.

We wish he were playing and now he will be. The MLS is not the end of [a] career.

Cesar was the only goalkeeper named in Scolari's initial squad selection on Tuesday, although the former Chelsea head coach indicated that he expected to add three or four players from domestic clubs to his squad nearer the time.

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 13: (L-R) MLSE President Tim leiweki, Jermain Defoe, Michael Bradley, Head Coach Ryan Nelson and Toronto FC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko pose at a Toronto FC press conference introducing the signing of  Michael Bradley and Jermai
Jag Gundu/Getty Images

Nevertheless, Cesar is expected to be his country's No. 1 at the World Cup—just as he was in South Africa in 2010—as long as he plays regular games and shows reasonable fitness and form during his time with Toronto.

Brazil technical coordinator Carlos Alberto Parreira added from the same press conference:

The MLS is technically not one of the best in the world, but it is very competitive. It was really important for us that he played.

Julio played the last match for us and he hadn't been playing. He was really well, playing well, his reflexes were all perfect.

If he plays 10, 15 matches until the World Cup it will be great. And he has that quality of still being the same player despite not being active.