Former Brazil first choice goalkeeper Júlio César has signed for Primeira Liga champions SL Benfica on a 2 year-deal, after his contract with Queens Park Rangers was mutual terminated.
The 34 year-old recently had a loan spell at Toronto FC and played a key role in Brazil’s 2014 World Cup campaign before retiring from international football this summer.
A two-time winner of the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year, César fell down the pecking order at Queens Park Rangers after manager Harry Redknapp favoured Robert Green for their successful play-off winning campaign. Redknapp was also keen to offload the Brazilian due to his high wage demands, before settling to loan the goalkeeper out in February.
The decision was made to release César from his contract just days before he agreed terms with Benfica, where he will compete for a place in the starting XI with fellow Brazilian Artur Moraes. Benfica lost Jan Oblak to Atletico Madrid, leaving Jorge Jesus keen to bring in competition for Moraes.
Benfica finished top of the Premeira Liga last campaign, conceding just 18 goals in 30 games, losing twice in that span. Artur Moraes was seen as a key factor to their success last season, and César will have to re-find the form he showed during his stint at Inter Milan if he wishes to break into the first XI.
César had been previously linked to QPR’s Premier League rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, though Redknapp was keen to offload the Brazilian abroad.