Julio pleasantly surprised | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 24, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:09 AM, January 24, 2020

Julio pleasantly surprised

Former Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar was left pleasantly surprised by the technical proficiency of age-group goalkeepers in Bangladesh after a session working with a number of goalkeepers at the Bangladesh Football Federation’s (BFF’s) artificial turf yesterday.

Cesar, who represented the Selecao 87 times, talked to current goalkeeping coaches, goalkeepers playing in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) and also some national team goalies during the session.

“He wanted to know about how trainings are being undertaken. He talked about maintaining concentration and staying relaxed under pressure,” BFF’s coach education coordinator informed before adding that Cesar felt that it was time to update the warm-up regimen of goalkeepers instead of following the classic methodology.

The women’s game in the country is set to take a step forward with the introduction of the women’s league and Cesar was astounded by the age-level players. The female goalkeepers all gathered around the former Brazilian shot-stopper to learn from his wisdom and their technique was keenly observed by Cesar. During the vibrant session he instructed them to keep working hard and to reach out to him on any matter regarding goalkeeping techniques. During the press conference, Cesar reiterated that he was surprised by the young women goalkeepers in the session

“I was surprised with their technicality. When I saw them make some moves at the goal line, I was positively surprised. It is very nice that so many girls want to become goalkeepers. It’s important for FIFA to develop women’s football and so there should be focus on improving,” the Brazilian said.

Lack of height is an issue for goalkeepers in the region but Cesar was convinced by the young footballers he worked with. “For the goalkeepers of our time, we needed to be tall. I’m 1.86 metres so I need to be an example for them since I’m not tall. I told them that ‘guys, you need to be strong in your legs because the goal is big and if you are not tall enough then you can’t save the goal [without leg strength]’. But they said ‘no Julio, we are strong in the legs and we work.’ If you can save then it doesn’t matter if you are tall or not.”

He reminisced on the highs and lows of his international and club careers, reflecting on the scene in the dressing room in the aftermath of Brazil’s 7-1 defeat in the 2014 World Cup.

“Each player tried to stay quiet and some players cried, one of them being me,” he said and cited his time at treble-winning Inter Milan as ‘the best moment’ of his career.

The Brazilian spent a day full of activities yesterday, starting with a visit to the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi road 32, accompanied by Father of The Nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s grandson Radwan Mujib Siddiq.

“I visited the father of the nation’s house and it was a very emotional visit. I didn’t know anything about the father of the nation but now I will spend some hours to try and understand many things about him and your country,” he told reporters during his visit to Road 32.

After his session with the footballers, he met up with the members of the Swadhin Bangla Football Team before heading to the Bangabandhu National Stadium to watch Bangladesh take on Burundi in the semifinal of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup.

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