Brazil legend Julio Cesar has revealed that Queen’s Park Rangers was his only option after leaving Inter in 2012.
Cesar was a key part of Jose Mourinho’s treble-winning Inter side in 2009/10, while he won 14 trophies in total during his time in Milan.
However, his move to the Premier League was not so successful. Cesar was relegated with QPR in his only season in England’s top flight, while he had issues with manager Harry Redknapp.
Writing about his life and career for The Players’ Tribune, Cesar explained how he reluctantly ended up at QPR and what went wrong.
“In 2012, after seven and a half years at Inter, I never thought I’d play for another club,” Cesar wrote. “I definitely never thought I’d end up at Queens Park Rangers.
“The whole thing was very difficult. Inter wanted to cut their expenses and the squad began to unravel. They tried to lower my salary, which I felt was unfair, so I wanted to leave. It was all very sad.
“I only had one offer on the table: QPR. As ever, the money was important, but I also believed in the project. The Premier League excited me and London is a great city. Yet nothing turned out as planned. Even though the club invested heavily, the winning mentality just wasn’t there, and we were relegated.”
Cesar stayed with the west London club despite demotion to the Championship in 2012/13. However, he lost his number one spot to Robert Green, even as he continued to impress for the Brazil national team.
He continued: “For my part, I thought I did well under Mark Hughes. But not long after Harry Redknapp took over, I was out.
“Harry and I had a few issues, although always in a respectful way. He chose another keeper, Robert Green. Fair enough. It was weird, though, because he’d always tell me, ‘You’re such a fantastic goalkeeper.’ And I was like, ‘So play me then!’
“The craziest thing is that while I couldn’t even get a game at QPR in the Championship, I was playing for Brazil!
“As for QPR, they didn’t care one bit that I was playing for Brazil. So what if he plays for the most respected national team in the world? Even when Brazil won the 2013 Confederations Cup, and I was named the goalkeeper of the tournament, nothing changed.
“I think I could have gone two years without conceding a goal for Brazil, and would have still been on the bench at QPR.”
Cesar moved to Toronto FC on loan ahead of the 2014 World Cup to guarantee game time ahead of the tournament in his homeland. However, he admitted that he considered retirement that summer after being made to feel ‘useless’ at QPR.
Cesar eventually rediscovered his purpose at Benfica, where he played 81 times and won six trophies, before retiring at Flamengo in 2018.
Read Julio Cesar’s full piece ‘My Book of Moments’ only on the The Players’ Tribune