QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar became only the fourth player in the R’s history to play in the World Cup finals when he started for Brazil in their 3-1 win against Croatia this evening.
Cesar – currently on loan at MLS franchise Toronto – played the full 90 minutes as the hosts opened the competition with a win.
A brace from Neymar cancelled out Marcelo’s own goal before Oscar added a third in stoppage time following a crucial block by custodian Cesar.
His first job was to pick the ball out of the back of the net however, when after just 11 minutes, an own goal from Marcelo handed the Croats the lead in Sao Paulo.
Ivica Olic down the left put in a teasing cross that Nikica Jelavic miskicked before the ball hit Marcelo on the ankle behind him and went past the R’s stopper.
Just moments before Brazil equalised through Neymar, Cesar prevented Croatia adding a second as he made save to his right from a header by Hull City’s Nikica Jelavić to ensure the first half finished 1-1.
The Brazilian number one had little to do in the second half - as a Neymar penalty handed them a 2-1 lead – before being called into action three times in the final seven minutes.
Croatia had the ball in the net in the 83rd minute but not before referee Yuichi Nishimura gave a foul for Ivica Olic's challenge on goalkeeper Cesar.
The former Inter Milan stopper was then called into action soon after to make a save from Luka Modric, getting down low to his right to parry the Real Madrid midfielders shot from distance.
He was called upon for the final time in the 90th minute to make a strong one handed save to deny Marcelo Brozovic an equaliser before Brazil went straight up the other end to score a third and final goal through Oscar.
The win sends Brazil top of Group A with Cesar next in action on Tuesday when they face Mexico (8pm BST).
Next in World Cup action for QPR are duo Stephane Mbia and Benoit Assou-Ekotto for Cameroon against Mexico on Friday evening (5pm BST).