Júlio César Soares de Espíndola, known as Júlio César, is a former Brazilian professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper.
Regarded as one of the best goalkeepers of his generation, Júlio César spent seven years at Italian club Inter Milan, where he won five Scudetti, the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League and the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup. He was awarded the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year title in both 2009 and 2010, and was nominated for the 2009 Ballon d’Or, where he was voted into 21st place.
Júlio César won 87 international caps for Brazil between 2004 and 2014. He was selected for the 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, and two Copa América tournaments. His performance in the 2014 FIFA World Cup match against Germany set the record for most goals conceded in a single match for Brazil.
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Júlio César spend the majority of 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign on bench as Dida’s understudy, making only two appearances in both matches against Bolivia. He was included in the manager Carlos Alberto Parreira’s list for the final tournament, taking squad number 22 as the third keeper. He didn’t play in the tournament as Brazil was eliminated in the quarter-final by France. After the World Cup and the international retirement of Dida, the competition to became Brazil’s new first-choice goalkeeper began. He initially was out of favor, as new coach Dunga preferred Gomes, Helton and Doni ahead of him. However, he forced his way into the team and finally, he replaced Doni as first-choice goalkeeper in September 2007. Until that period, he had only 14 international caps to his name.
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Júlio César was the starting keeper of Brazil under-17 squad in the 1995 FIFA U-17 World Championship in Ecuador. He kept clean-sheets in all three Group Cmatches, respectively against Germany, Oman and Canada, helping Brazil finish on top. Brazil eventually made their way to the final, also defeating their rivals Argentina in the semi-final, only to lose 3–2 to Ghana.
Four years later, Júlio César was part of Brazil under-20 side in their 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship campaign. He was the second choice behind Fábio, making no appearances as Brazil was eliminated in the quarter-finals by Uruguay. Júlio César was first included in Brazil senior team for the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup, where he did not play as the team was eliminated in the group stage. The next year, he was included in the squad for the 2004 Copa América, where he also made his first international appearance, starting in the opening Group C against Chile, keeping a clean-sheet as Seleção won 1–0. He become the 963rd player to play at least a match for Brazil. One of the best goalkeepers in the world in his prime, Júlio César was known for his athleticism, strength, and reflexes, as well as his agility, positional sense, shot-stopping, ability to read the game, and speed when rushing off his line. A left-footed goalkeeper, he is also known for his ball skills and distribution, as well as his penalty stopping. Júlio César is a Roman Catholic. He married Brazilian model and actress Susana Werner at the Candelária Church. Together, they have two children: Cauet, born in 2002, and Giulia, born in 2005. They both went to ACS Hillingdon International School. He is sponsored by Asics.