sport

Cesar over QPR troubles

Julio Cesar admits he endured a 'complicated' World Cup build-up as he trained in a park after being frozen out at Queens Park Rangers.

Having spent the first-half of the 2013/14 campaign being overlooked at Loftus Road, Cesar feared his spot as Brazil's number one was under threat.

In an effort to keep himself in shape, he admits to working by himself - going as far as buying his own goalkeeping equipment.

Eventually, he was offered a lifeline by MLS outfit FC Toronto - bossed by former Blackburn Rovers defender Ryan Nelsen - and did enough to keep himself in the Brazil set-up.

The situation was, and still is, far from ideal, but Cesar can console himself with the fact that he is now chasing down global glory on home soil and can put any outstanding issues regarding his domestic future to one side.

He said ahead of a last-16 encounter against Chile on Saturday: \"It was a complicated moment because I wasn't playing for my club because of contractual problems.

\"I'd have to go to the park by myself. I even bought some goalkeeper gloves because I didn't want my team to know about it.

\"Then, Toronto was something that happened out of nowhere - overnight. After talking with a friend who had made that leap, I said, 'Why not?'

\"I have to thank Ryan so much for this opportunity. He said, 'Come here and you will be ready to play in the World Cup'.

\"If I hadn't been playing it would've been hard to play in the World Cup.

\"I am improving with every game, improving my rhythm and enjoying every moment.\"

Cesar acknowledges that a lack of game time has seen his position questioned by some Brazilians, but he is determined to repay the faith shown in him by national coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.

He added: \"I really primed myself for this World Cup, regardless of the fact that some critics did not agree with my choice of going to play in a league that is, in theory, not strong.

\"I can look in the mirror and say I believe in myself. I made an important save against Mexico to help us get a draw and, physically and mentally, I am prepared.\"