Cesar wants to conquer


RANDBURG, June 19- Having lifted the Champions League, the Serie A title and the Italian Cup with Inter Milan, Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar now wants the World Cup and the crowning respect of his peers.The 30-year-old was only a back-up at the 2006 World Cup but has become Brazil coach Dunga’s first choice as the South Americans bid for a sixth title in South Africa, having started off with a narrow 2-1 success over North Korea.

While he would have preferred to start with a clean sheet, at least Julio Cesar is having a better time of it than some of his rivals for the title of world’s best goalkeeper.

Gianluigi Buffon suffered a herniated disc in holders Italy’s first game against Paraguay and looks set to miss the rest of the event.

Chelsea’s Petr Cech would be a top contender for the best keeper in the world but the Chelsea shot-stopper failed to get through the qualifiers with the Czech Republic.

Then there’s Spain’s skipper Iker Casillas, who Julio Cesar himself places in the ‘big four’.

But Casillas is coming to terms with the Spaniards’ shock early loss to Switzerland and a poor season with Real Madrid.

Julio Cesar conceded a relatively miserly 34 goals as Inter marched to the Italian title though his season was briefly marred by a car accident.

He swiftly found his top form once again with a fine showing to help Inter knock Chelsea out of the Champions League.

On Sunday, he will come up once again against one of his opponents that night – Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba.

Although Cesar says he doesn’t covet individual prizes, he is amongst those stars bidding to be voted world player of the year, just as Soviet goalkeeping legend Lev Yashin was in 1963.

"It would be great to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or or the FIFA award," he said.

But his target is glory with Brazil.

"I want to win the World Cup. I asked Lucio and Gilberto Silva (who were on the victorious 2002 squad) if the trophy weighs a lot and Lucio told me he couldn’t carry it for five minutes it was so heavy.

"I told him if we win it I want to carry it for an hour and a half."