Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughKeeper in focus: Julio Cesar (video) - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Keeper in focus: Julio Cesar (video) - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Keeper in focus: Julio Cesar (video)

Arguably the Premier League’s best goalkeeper this season, QPR’s signing of Julio Cesar in the summer surprised many, yet he has been instrumental in the club’s recent upturn in form and has since gained a re-call to the Brazilian national team as well as the rumoured interest of Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.

Julio Cesar’s recent man-of-the-match performance against champions Manchester City was just one of many impressive displays he has produced in England this season. His role in the shut-out of City – the third time the Champions have failed to score in the capital this season – prompted his manager Harry Redknapp to say “Cesar was excellent – he’s world class. He’s won everything and he’s an amazing goalkeeper”.

Redknapp’s words are very true. The Brazilian stopper has won 5 Serie A titles, 3 Coppa Italias, 1 Champions League and 1 World Club Cup with Inter Milan, several trophies in his homeland with Flamengo and the Copa America and Confederations Cup with his national side. On a personal level, he was awarded the accolade of UEFA club goalkeeper of the year in 2010 and Serie A’s best goalkeeper on two separate occasions.

So why the move to QPR? Many cynics will quickly point to what they believe to be the most significant factor – money. Yet in several interviews since his arrival at Loftus Road, Cesar has repeatedly re-iterated his personal investment in Tony Fernandes’ on going “project” in West London. This coupled with his excitement of relocating himself and his young family to London – where he often interacts with fans of the R’s and others on the tube –  made his decision to test himself in the Premiership an easy one after falling out of favour at the San Siro.

QPR currently lie bottom of the Premier League, 6 points from safety with only 13 games remaining. However, Cesar remains convinced that his side will avoid the drop, perhaps by the new found optimism that boss Harry Redknapp has instilled in the club. Since Redknapp’s arrival, QPR have been beaten only 3 times in 12 Premier Leagues games, a run which has included 5 clean sheets and an unbeaten start to 2013.

With or without QPR, several tabloid newspapers appear to believe that Julio Cesar will remain in England’s top flight next season. The Sun, Express and the Daily Mail recently jumped on the back of rumours emanating from Cesar’s homeland  that both Manchester United and Arsenal have lost patience with their young, inexperienced goalkeepers David De Gea and Wojciech Szczęsny and are keen to replace them with the QPR’s veteran Brazilian number 1.

With QPR supremo Tony Fernandes likely to cut the wage bill at Loftus Road this summer, regardless if they survive relegation to the Championship, £60,000 a week Cesar could be one of the first to depart the R’s at the end of the season.

Julio Cesar will again aim to make headlines in London this week, as he and his fellow compatriots attempt to deny England in their friendly at Wembley on Wednesday evening.