Julio Cesar: Balotelli is scared of taking penalties against me

The Brazil international believes the duo’s time together at Inter would leave him with a distinct advantage over the Italy star from 12 yards

Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar says he would have liked to face a Mario Balotelli penalty during his country’s 4-2 Confederations Cup win over Italy on Saturday.

Balotelli has never missed a penalty during his professional career, but the Canarinha shot-stopper says he would have fancied his chances after bettering the striker in training whilst the two were at Inter.

“I would have liked to take on Balotelli, as we often practiced penalties in training at Inter,” the 33-year-old told Rai Sport. “I managed to save a few, so he’s scared to face me now.”

The former Flamengo star also took time to praise team-mate Neymar, whose stunning free kick put the Selecao 2-1 up following Emanuele Giaccherini’s equaliser.

“[Neymar] is a world-class player,” he continued. “He plays with joy and can move well even off the ball. Goalkeepers are always blamed, but Neymar’s free kick was fantastic.”

Cesar also spoke about rumoured interest from Roma, following current club Queen’s Park Rangers’ relegation from the Premier League last term.

“I do hear news every now and then, so I am happy about that interest,” he added. “After everything that happened at Inter, my career has changed a great deal.

“I thank QPR, who were the only club who wanted me. They gave me a great opportunity and I am still in the Selecao thanks to them.”

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