Júlio César Clemente Baptista (born 1 October 1981) is a Brazilian professional footballer who last played as an attacking midfielder or a forward for Romanian club CFR Cluj. He is nicknamed "The Beast" due to his size and physical presence on the football field.
Baptista in 2016
|Full name||Júlio César Clemente Baptista|
|Date of birth||1 October 1981|
|Place of birth||São Paulo, Brazil|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder / Forward|
|2006–2007||→ Arsenal (loan)||24||(3)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 28 December 2018|
Baptista began his career as a defensive midfielder, and after a series of impressive performances for his hometown squad São Paulo FC, Baptista signed for Sevilla FC in 2003. Upon signing for Sevilla, he was converted into a forward, and in his two seasons, he scored 50 goals, leading to his 2005 transfer to Spanish giants Real Madrid. After two unsuccessful seasons at Real Madrid with a loan spell at Arsenal sandwiched in between, Baptista transferred to Roma in Italy. In January 2011 he returned to Spain by signing for Málaga, and two years later went back to Brazil with Cruzeiro.
On 3 August 2003, Sevilla FC unveiled Baptista as their newest signing. He cost the Spanish club £1.75 million (US$3.75 million). Baptista made it clear he was confident that he would succeed in Spain. He donned the No.19 jersey and began playing as an attacking midfielder. Baptista settled in quickly, scoring a double in Sevilla's 4–0 victory over Racing de Santander. As the season progressed, his good form continued, including a double against Levante UD and once more hitting the back of the net against Racing de Santander, this time with four goals as Sevilla picked up a 5–2 victory at home.
His form attracted the attention of several big name clubs, but despite interest from English giants Arsenal, Baptista remained at Sevilla for the following season, in which he once more showed his worth registering 25 goals in all competitions.
Between 2003 and 2005, Baptista made 81 appearances in all competitions for Sevilla and scored 50 goals in total. With this goal tally came a summer of transfer rumours in which Real Madrid battled it out with Arsenal for his signature.
On 25 July 2005, Real Madrid confirmed the signing of the long-time Arsenal target for a fee of £13.8 million (€20 million), rising to £16.9 million (€24.5 million); Baptista signed a five-year deal. Baptista said he had chosen to remain in Spain at least one more year, as transferring to Real Madrid would allow him to gain dual citizenship (in Spain as well as Brazil), which would enable him to travel across Europe freely. He also explained he did not want to move to England at this time. Upon his arrival at Real Madrid, Baptista was awarded the No.8 jersey.
The season looked very promising for Real Madrid; the big-money signings of Robinho from Santos FC, Baptista, and Sergio Ramos from Sevilla meant that Real Madrid were tipped to end their trophy drought. It was not to be, however. At Real, Baptista was often played out of position as a left-winger to accommodate the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Guti in the Spanish side's attacking line-up. For this reason, he was unable to find the form that led many of Europe's top clubs to want to sign him. He managed to score just eight league goals throughout the 2006 league campaign. The season ended in disappointment as Real Madrid yet again ended the season without a trophy.
Baptista insisted that Arsenal were still in pursuit of him, but he made it clear he wanted to fulfill his contract with Real Madrid.
At the end of August 2006, with the transfer window about to close, press reports linked him with a move to either Tottenham Hotspur or Arsenal. The latter was part of a possible swap deal that included José Antonio Reyes. Baptista went on to strenuously claim that he was not interested in a move away from Real Madrid. However, on 31 August 2006, the day of the transfer deadline, Baptista moved to Arsenal in exchange for Reyes. The deal saw both players signing on to 12-month loans at their new clubs. He scored his first goal for Arsenal against Hamburg in the Champions League on 21 November 2006.
Baptista struggled to score in the Premier League, managing just three goals in 24 league matches. Baptista, however, found scoring form in the League Cup, with six goals in the competition, including a club record four goals in Arsenal's quarter-final victory against Liverpool on 9 January 2007, in a 6–3 win for Arsenal; beside his 4 goals, he also missed a penalty kick in that game, and missed two other penalties that season against Bolton Wanderers and Portsmouth. Baptista also scored twice in Arsenal's semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur (having also scored an own goal at the other end), but they lost 2–1 to Chelsea in the final.
In total, Baptista scored 10 goals in 35 appearances for Arsenal.
At the end of the 2006–07 season, he was no longer required by Arsenal and returned to Real Madrid, as the loan deal finished. After the appointment of Bernd Schuster as head coach of Madrid, Baptista played far more often and in his preferred central position.
Baptista went on to score first in a 3-0 victory that knocked Lazio out of the Champions League. He then netted a magnificent first half goal from a one-two pass from Ruud van Nistelrooy against rivals FC Barcelona in the El Clásico. Baptista's goal proved to be vital in a game that eventually finished 1-0 to the visitors. This was only the second time Real Madrid had beaten rivals Barcelona at the Camp Nou in 24 years.
During the season, Baptista continued his good form. This led to many praising his good performances as he continued to keep Guti on the bench. Real eventually won that season's La Liga title with Baptista thus earning a winner's medal.
Roma ended their search for another forward on 14 August, when they signed Baptista from Real Madrid. The Serie A club said in a statement that the 26-year-old had cost an initial €9 million plus bonuses and had penned a four-year deal worth €4.5million before tax and excluding bonuses.
Baptista made his debut for Roma in the Supercoppa Italiana on 24 August 2008, but the team lost to Inter Milan on penalties. Baptista converted his penalty kick. On 1 October 2008, he scored his first Champions League goals for the club, scoring a double against Bordeaux to give his side a 3–1 victory. Baptista scored Roma's winning goal in his first Rome derby against Lazio.
In the Champions League, Roma drew Baptista's former club, Arsenal. He played in both games, the first at the Emirates Stadium, a ground he used to call home, and the return leg at the Stadio Olimpico. In the return leg, Baptista came on as an early substitute, following the early injury to Roma's goalscorer Juan. Baptista had a couple of chances to give Roma the two goal advantage that would have sent them through to the quarter-final stage of the Champions League, most notably a chance in the 79th minute, where he missed from 10 yards out with just Manuel Almunia to beat. Roma lost 7–6 in the ensuing penalty shootout.
On 3 January 2011, Málaga CF announced the signing of Júlio Baptista. He signed a two-and-a-half-year contract. On 14 January 2011, Roma announced that the transfer fee was €2.5 million. He made his debut for Málaga on 16 January 2011 in a 4–1 defeat at Barcelona, and six days later he scored his first goal in a 4–3 defeat at Valencia CF.
Baptista, however, was injured during the match between Málaga and Getafe CF (and scoring from penalty in a 2–2 draw) and was operated in Brazil couple of days later. He returned to action on 16 April 2011 by scoring twice in a 3–0 home win over RCD Mallorca, taking the team out of the relegation zone.
On 1 October 2011, Baptista scored a dramatic late winner in a 3–2 win over Getafe with an overhead kick, on his 30th birthday. However, he injured his right leg during the match, and though it was at first thought to be a minor injury he ultimately needed an operation that would keep him out of action for the rest of the year. On 6 March 2012 it was announced that Baptista might miss the rest of the season and would travel to Brazil to recover from his injury. He made his comeback on 3 February 2013, coming on as a substitute in a 1–1 draw against Real Zaragoza. Baptista scored his first goal since his return from injury on 30 March, netting the winner in Malaga's 3-1 defeat of Rayo Vallecano, a result that pushed the side into fourth place in La Liga.
On 24 July 2013, Málaga CF terminated his contract with the La Liga club.
On 24 July 2013, Júlio Baptista signed with the Brazilian first division club Cruzeiro Esporte Clube, where he was teamed up with well-known names such as Dedé, Dagoberto, and Fábio. He was reported to be on a two-year contract, with a reportedly €170,000 per month salary.
On July 28, 2013, Baptista went to the Mineirão Stadium in an armored car, and was presented to Celeste fans in the club's 4-1 victory against rivals Atlético Mineiro. After his presentation, Baptista did not confirm when he could debut for his new club. According to La Bestia, it depended on "documentation and of Marcelo Oliveira (Cruzeiro's coach)".
Manager Marcelo Oliveira praised Baptista for working to return to his best shape. Asked in which position Oliveira would play Baptista, he affirmed that Baptista would play as a playmaker, because he played in this position for Sevilla, in his best days. Oliveira also said he wanted Ricardo Goulart instead of Baptista to mark players.
On 23 March 2016, Orlando City SC announced that they had signed Baptista. He made his Major League Soccer debut on 8 April as a sub against Philadelphia Union, and scored his first goal in the league on 29 May against New York City FC. His contract option was declined by the club on November 23, 2016, making him a free agent.
On 18 August 2018, Baptista penned a deal for an undisclosed period with Romanian defending champions CFR Cluj. Eight days later, he made his debut in a goalless Liga I draw at Gaz Metan Mediaș, replacing Alexandru Ioniță in the 70th minute.
Baptista became subject of controversy in Romania, having played only 43 minutes for CFR in 2018, which made him one of the best paid football players per minute played.
Baptista has 47 caps with Brazil and has netted five goals. His first cap came on 4 June 2001 in the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup, a 0–0 draw against Japan. He also played a limited part in the 2005 edition of the competition.
As Baptista often played out of position at Real Madrid, his form dipped, and he was not included on the 2006 World Cup roster. However, Baptista was re-called to the Brazil squad for the 2007 Copa América and scored the opening goal in Brazil's 3–0 victory over Argentina in the final on 15 July 2007. Baptista ended the competition with three goals. He went on to play the 2010 World Cup for Brazil under coach Dunga.
- As of 16 July 2013
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|Brazil||League||Copa do Brasil||League Cup||South America||Total|
|2000||São Paulo||Série A||14||0||-||-||5||1||19||1|
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Copa de la Liga||Europe||Total|
|2005–06||Real Madrid||La Liga||32||8||6||1||-||7||0||45||9|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Copa de la Liga||Europe||Total|
|2007–08||Real Madrid||La Liga||27||3||1||0||-||3||1||31||4|
|Italy||League||Coppa Italia||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Copa de la Liga||Europe||Total|
- Kenneally, Enda (23 April 2016). "Julio Baptista reveals secrets of 'the beast'". marca.com. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
- "Sevilla unveil Baptista". Sky Sports.
- "La Liga Round-Up". Sky Sports.
- "Brazilian in Premiership claim". Sky Sports.
- "World Cup Profile: Julio Baptista – Brazil". Goal.com.
- "Real pip Arsenal to sign Baptista". BBC Sport. 25 July 2005. Retrieved 25 July 2005.
- "Baptista makes Arsenal admission". BBC Sport. 1 August 2005. Retrieved 1 August 2005.
- "José Antonio Reyes, new Real Madrid player". Real Madrid. Archived from the original on 10 August 2007.
- Phillips, Owen (21 November 2006). "Arsenal 3–1 Hamburg". BBC. Retrieved 13 August 2010.
- McNulty, Phil (14 February 2007). "Bolton 1–3 Arsenal (aet)". BBC. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- Hughes, Ian (13 May 2007). "Portsmouth 0–0 Arsenal". BBC. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- "'It was one of my greatest games'". Arsenal.com.
- "Real secure top spot". Sky Sports.com.
- "Historic Goals: Baptista". Real Madrid.com.
- "Baptista: I'm Not Ronaldinho, But I Play Well, Too". Goal.com.
- "Julio Baptista: These are the games that changed my life". Four Four Two.com.
- "Soccer – Roma sign Brazil's Baptista from Real Madrid. Later Menez Joined Roma from Monaco as another forward". Reuters. 14 August 2008.
- "14 AGOSTO 2008 – RAGGIUNTO L'ACCORDO PER L'ACQUISIZIONE A TITOLO DEFINITIVO DEL DIRITTO ALLE PRESTAZIONI SPORTIVE DEL CALCIATORE JULIO CESAR BAPTISTA". AS Roma (in Italian). 14 August 2008. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
- "Julio Baptista ya es malaguista y se presentará mañana a las 12:30 horas en el estadio La Rosaleda" [Julio Baptista is a malaguista and will be presented tomorrow at 12:30 at Estadio La Rosaleda]. Málaga CF (in Spanish). 3 January 2011. Archived from the original on 6 January 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "OPERAZIONI DI MERCATO AL 14 GENNAIO 2011" (pdf). AS Roma (in Italian). 14 January 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
- Baptista will be operated in 7 December (in Spanish)
- "Malaga moving on up". ESPNFC. 30 March 2013.
- "Julio Baptista chega ao gramado em um carro-forte e é apresentado à torcida celeste". otempo.com.br (in Portuguese). O Tempo. 28 July 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- "Apresentado de forma inusitada, Baptista evita fixar prazo para estreia". uol.com.br (in Portuguese). UOL. 29 July 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- "Marcelo Oliveira elogia Júlio Baptista e planeja escalação como meia". terra.com.br (in Portuguese). 7 September 2013. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- "Ex-Real Madrid forward Julio Baptista signs with Orlando City, club confirms". ESPN.com. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
- Veness, Simon (7 April 2016). "Julio Baptista expects to make Friday-night MLS debut for Orlando City". Major League Soccer. Archived from the original on 16 June 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
- "Julio Baptista: Scores first-ever MLS goal". RotoWire. Roto Sports, Inc. 31 May 2016. Archived from the original on 16 June 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
- Wikipedia/2017 Orlando city SC season
- "Bun venit, Julio Baptista!" [Welcome, Júlio Baptista!] (in Romanian). CFR Cluj. 18 August 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
- "Julio Baptista a debutat la CFR! Cum s-a descurcat atacantul trecut pe la Real Madrid. Prima reacţie a brazilianului" [Júlio Baptista made his debut for CFR! How did the former Real Madrid attacker do. The Brazilian's first reaction] (in Romanian). ProSport. 26 August 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
- "Jucatorul din Liga I platit mai bine decat Balonul de Aur Modric! Cati bani a luat Baptista pentru fiecare minut jucat la CFR". sport.ro.
- "Brazil – Record International Players".
- "Seleção Brasileira 2000-2001".
- "Seleção Brasileira Restritiva 2000-2003".
- "Seleção Brasileira 2002-2003".
- "Seleção Brasileira 2004-2005".
- "Seleção Brasileira 2006-2007".
- "Seleção Brasileira 2008-2009".
- "São Paulo vende Júlio Baptista para a Espanha". Esportes.Terra.com.br (in Portuguese).
- "Julio Baptista: Profile". Eurosport.com.
- "Julio Baptista". Soccerway.com.
- "Prix Don Balon". Football The Story.com (in French).
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