Football

Oscar: Chelsea's next legend in No.11

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Just as Chelsea were getting their summer spending ahead of steam in typical fashion, they fought off competition from Spurs for the signing of Brazilian international Oscar for a reported fee in the region of £25m.

The midfield maverick first caught the eye of scouting set-ups across Europe when he guided his team to a 3-2 victory over Portugal in the U20 World Cup final, with the Chelsea man bagging a mouth-watering hat-trick for his side.

Shortly after the then-20-year-old had concluded his country's run to the final in the 2012 London Olympics, he penned a five year deal to prise him away from Internacional.

After missing the Blues' pre-season, the man from Americana made his first appearance for the west London club as a substitute in Roberto Di Matteo's 2-0 opening win against Wigan.

The Brazilian spent a short time on the pitch, showing glimpses of his natural flair and ability to find space in effective midfield areas.

Oscar made his full starting debut for Chelsea in their Champions League group stage opener against Juventus. Although the Blues eventually crashed out at the group stage, this Juventus match will go down as one of the most important days in Oscar's young career.

Anticipation rang around Stamford Bridge as the kings of Europe from 2012 came back home to Kings Road to restart their campaign, it was a night not for the faint hearted.

Oscar, making his first start, was tasked with man-marking Italian legend, Andrea Pirlo, producing a display of discipline and tactical awareness to pick his moments to come and support the attack.

Eden Hazard rushed down the left flank to supply the no.11 with an accurate pass just on the edge of the Italian outfit's 18 yard box. Oscar dispatched a powerful shot that took a wild deflection off of Leonardo Bonucci, to wrong-foot Buffon, as a result the ball floated into the net, giving Chelsea a 1-0 lead.

Oscar's next piece of magic sent waves through Europe; the man playing essentially as a no.10 collected a direct ball from Ashley Cole expertly, whilst controlling the ball, Oscar waved his backheel at it to spin away from the covering defender, Andre Pirlo, completely taking the midfield maestro completely out the game.

As Oscar turned, the Stamford Bridge faithful rose to see their new gem lash ferociously at the spinning ball, consequently securing his brace with the clinical finesse shot nestling in the back of Buffon's goal for the second time that evening.

The man taking over from Chelsea legend, Didier Drogba's no.11 shirt had pushed Europe into awe; here is a 20-year-old making his first start for his first club in Europe, and had the audacity to bamboozle a veteran such as Pirlo, and secure his brace in the process.

The man touted to eventually play as a deep-lying midfielder consistently scored goals in the Champions League, playing confidently in the forming of the trio known among Blues fans as "Mazacar".

He also responded to the physical aspects of English football solidly, with expert movement, almost perfect first-touch, and accurate eye for both long and short passes.

On Friday night he was preferred in the no,10 role in Chelsea's 4-2-3-1 system in the west London club's fiercely contested Super Cup final against German Champions, Bayern Munich, beating off competition from the likes of Juan Mata and Kevin de Bruyne.

The 21-year-old, quite frankly, ran his boots into dust. Oscar seemed to be everywhere in Prague, both defending adequately, fulfilling his defensive duties, but also clinical on the break.

He seemed fearless in the tackle, sliding into a few whole-hearted challenges. The Blues, after much drama, lost the final on penalties, with Bayern only equalising in the dying seconds of stoppage time with a heartbreaking goal from Javi Martinez to take it to the infamous shootout.

Regardless of the result, a resilient Chelsea side were able to withstand the might of the team largely seen as the best in Europe for the best part of 120 minutes. This was the birth of a new Chelsea; Mourinho's Chelsea.

This was a birth of a new Oscar; Mourinho's Oscar. Despite a glaring miss against the imposing figure of Manuel Neuer, the 21-year-old had shown why he was preferred over the two-time Blues player of the year award winner, Juan Mata. If his performance is anything to go by, Oscar will be one of the first names on the team sheet for Mourinho’s men this season.

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Topics:
Brazil Football
Football
Chelsea
Premier League

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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