Brazil's coach has identified the Toronto FC goalkeeper as one of Brazil's "chosen leaders," along with David Luiz and Fred.Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari on Thursday confirmed Julio Cesar's spot on the World Cup roster, noting that he sees the Toronto FC goalkeeper as one of the squad's "chosen leaders."
Cesar, on loan from English side Queens Park Rangers, has conceded seven goals in six games for TFC this MLS season. He has compiled 78 caps for Brazil and appeared in two World Cups.
"My chosen leaders are David Luiz, Julio Cesar and Fred," Scolari said. "I had already chosen them and I've been talking to them a little more during some trips. I have no doubts about my final list, but I will wait until the end of the leagues.
"I could have some last-minute problems, like [Napoli's] Henrique, who was in an accident. Not even [Carlos Alberto] Parreira, [Flavio] Murtosa or the chairman [Jose Maria Marin, CBF president] know about the final list. But we shouldn't have many surprises. You would probably guess 22 out of the 23."
Scolari also says he'd like to see Atletico Madrid knock Chelsea out of this season's Champions League so the Blues' Brazilian contingent is rested for the World Cup.
Chelsea battled its way to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their semifinal tie with the Rojiblancos at the Vicente Calderon on Tuesday, putting Jose Mourinho's men in a good position to progress in next week's return leg at Stamford Bridge.
However, Scolari says he hopes Chelsea bows out for purely selfish reasons, as he would not like to see Luiz, Oscar, Willian and Ramires feature in the Champions League final, on May 24, just two and a half weeks before the start of the World Cup.
"To us, it would be better if Atletico eliminated Chelsea, because then I'd have four well-rested players," the Selecao coach said.
Scolari added that he has no doubts over the form of Neymar, who has been plagued by injuries, fluctuating form and off-the-field problems in his first season at Barcelona.
"Neymar will be very well received on the national team," Scolari said. "My analysis of Neymar is very different from that of some Spanish critics. The moment his club is going through right now is not good but Brazil's style of play is very dfferent."