|Júlio Baptista (born October 1st, 1981 in São Paulo) is a
football (soccer) player from Brazil. He plays offensive
midfield with Real Madrid and the Brazilian national team.
He currently plays for Real Madrid in Spain's La Liga. Sometimes
referred to as "the Beast of Sevilla", Baptista is often
considered one of the best Brazilian strikers/attacking
midfielders despite having been converted from a defensive
midfielder. In 2005, he had 38 goals in his 63 appearances for
Baptista played for Sevilla FC from 2003-2005 after signing from
São Paulo, where he began his professional career in 2000.
On July 29, 2005, he signed a 5-year, €20 million (£13 million)
deal with Real Madrid after a month of heated bidding from
English Premier League clubs Arsenal F.C. and Tottenham Hotspur
F.C.. During the bidding, Baptista frequently cited his desire
to remain in Spain at least through 2005 in order to qualify for
a European passport which would provide him great flexibility in
moving about the continent.
He has 26 caps with the Brazilian national team, his first in