Brazil’s lack of goalkeeping options ahead of the World Cup

When you look at the current Brazil squad under Luiz Felipe Scolari, a group of players able to win the World Cup on home soil is evident.

The sheer quality of their attacking options and enviable blend of their midfield is backed up by a back-four playing at Europe’s top clubs.

However, one area looks like a potential weakness for the South American giants – goalkeeper.

Scolari has put his faith in 77-times capped Júlio César, who has proven himself over time as a top-class goalkeeper, but has bafflingly not had much football this season.

After seven successful years at Internazionale, the former Flamengo man had proven himself as one of the world’s most-accomplished stoppers.

A 2012 move to Queens Park Rangers raised a few eyebrows, but again he showed his calibre in limiting the damage that the Loftus Road club took in their demotion from the English top flight last season.

However, this term Harry Redknapp has preferred Robert Green in his side, and as such Brazil’s number one could not get a game at an English Championship side.

The 34-year-old has had to watch on from the sidelines in a nightmare scenario for any player with ambitions of playing in the World Cup, nevermind the host nation’s custodian.

After failing to make a single appearance for the Hoops in the league this term, a loan move to Toronto FC has been agreed. This again has come as something of a shock.

Although César has proven himself in the past and clearly has the support and backing of Scolari, playing in the MLS and not playing at all in the Championship is hardly ideal preparation for the biggest event in Brazilian football history.

The sad fact is that Brazil will go with César regardless of his build-up to the tournament, as back-up options are thin on the ground.

Luiz Felipe ScolariLooking at other European based players, there are a number of options but their situation or relationship with Scolari means that they are unlikely to be part of the group.

Heurelho Gomes has been frozen out at Tottenham, while Rafael Cabral has only made eight Serie A appearances for Napoli since a 2013 move from Santos; he has largely played second fiddle to Pepe Reina.

Fiorentina’s number one Neto seems like someone that should be in consideration given that he has played every minute of a successful season for the Stadio Artemio Franchi side this season.

However, this has not been the case, with the 24-year-old overlooked and Scolari favouring home-based keepers as back-ups to César.

Of the couple of Brasileiro stoppers that have been given a look-in, it would appear that Botafogo’s Jefferson is the most likely to be included in the squad after his nine caps over the last three years.

Other contenders that are holding their hand up but without any real conviction include Diego Cavalieri of recently relegated Fluminense and Atlético Mineiro’s Victor.

Looking back over top Brazilian teams of the past, goalkeeper has always been an area where quality has not been equal to other parts of the team.

The likes of Dida and Cláudio Taffarel have been recent stoppers that have showcased ability but were always prone to an error.

As such, César seems like the most fitting of an underwhelming bunch, as one of the world’s most iconic footballing nations struggles to find a goalkeeper worthy to compare to their stellar array of outfield stars.

I am a freelance football journalist from Northern Ireland living in Broome in Western Australia. I have worked for top media outlets such as FourFourTwo,, Soccerlens, Football Fancast and Here is the City. I am a lifelong and long-suffering Tottenham fan. Follow me on Twitter at @90MinsOnline
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