Oscar: Player Profile

An Oscar Award Winning Performance

Personal information
Full name: Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Junior
Date of birth: 9 September 1991 (age 22)
Place of birth: Americana, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[2]
Playing position: Attacking midfielder

Club information
Current club: Chelsea
Number: 11

Youth career 
1998–2004 Uniao Barbarense
2004–2009 Sao Paulo

Senior career 
2008–2010 Sao Paulo 14 Appearances, 0 Goals
2010–2012 Internacional 70 Appearances, 19 Goals
2012–2014 Chelsea 111 Appearances, 23 Goals

National team 
2009–2011 Brazil U20 25 Appearances, 6 Goals
2012–Brazil U23 6 Appearances, 1 Goal
2011–2014 Brazil 32 Appearances, 10 Goals

Brazil delivered on the opening day of the 2014 World Cup as they came from behind to defeat Croatia 3-1 and delight the home fans.

Neymar was decisive and scored twice in the Group A opener, but it was the performance of Chelsea’s Oscar which provided a timely reminder of how crucial the 22-year-old midfielder is to Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team.

Ahead of the tournament, pressure was mounting on Scolari to ditch the Chelsea ace in favour of his team mate Willian.

Many pundits felt Oscar was running on empty after two seasons in Europe without a break and had to be dropped to the bench.

In Brazil’s last friendly before the World Cup, the youngster was substituted at half time and appeared to be coming into the biggest tournament of his life in awful form.

However, the Selecao number 11 delivered a masterful performance that combined work rate with skill and tactical intelligence.

Oscar was a constant threat from the minute Brazil went behind, following Marcelo’s own goal, and came close to producing the equaliser.

What was also vitally important was the Chelsea man keeping his shape and positioning throughout. It would have been easy for him to drift inside but he stayed wide and stretched the Croatian team.

Once Neymar, who coped excellently with the enormous pressure, equalised, Oscar raised his level again and was buzzing around opposition players before half time harrying them non-stop.

It was that work rate, that commitment and that desire that helped inspire the Brazil faithful and give them the belief that Selecao could turn it fully around and secure a win.

The Blues midfielder started the second half strongly too and continued to look threatening despite the Croatians enjoying a positive start after the interval.

Oscar showed his worth defensively as well by making four tackles and three interceptions during the match and his pressing eventually helped Brazil break Croatia down, albeit controversially.

The penalty awarded was debatable to say the least, with Fred going down very easily.
Regardless, though, it was fitting that the final word of the night, at least on the football pitch, came from Oscar in injury time.

The 22-year-old brought the ball forward and surprised everyone inside the stadium by toe-poking the ball into the net and sparking jubilant celebrations – with victory finally assured.

Neymar scored twice and stole the headlines, along with the controversy, but Oscar showed how important he is to Brazil and silenced his critics with a stunning performance.

His excellent displays follow a summer in which the Sao Paulo-born playmaker secured his first senior success in a Brazil shirt, helping his side to a memorable victory at the Confederations Cup. Having played a major role in the Selecao's Under-20 World Cup victory in 2011, his status in the Brazilian game is undisputed.

However, Oscar's route to the top has been far from easy. From a difficult upbringing to contractual disputes with his first professional club, the 22-year-old has already come through considerable adversity to reach the top of the game.

Oscar lost his father in a traffic accident at the age of three, leaving his mother to bring up three children in Americana, Sao Paulo—having been pregnant with Oscar's younger sister Gabriela at the time of the accident.

Last year, Oscar spoke of the pain of growing up without his father to Globo Esporte (Portuguese): "Of course I don't remember him," he commented. "But, you miss your father when you are playing football. All the parents are there, but yours is not there."

Sueli was left to raise Oscarzinho, as he was known, making money by making and selling clothes in the family's hometown.

Oscar's footballing talent, though, began to show through at an early age, and by 12 years old, the young Brazilian had joined the youth ranks of club side Ipiranga. Soon after, he would join the youth ranks of Sao Paulo.

Oscar's senior career began at the age of 17, when he made his debut for Sao Paulo in 2008. It was in 2009, though, that he would really come to the fore following an impressive campaign at the Copa Sao Paulo youth tournament in January where he scored three goals.

Head Researcher for Football Manager in Brazil Paulo Freitas had this to say to about Oscar's time at Sao Paulo: "Oscar was always regarded as one of the 'jewels' in Sao Paulo's youth academy. He made his debut in 2008, but started shining in 2009, making an assist in a game versus Corinthians in June, after also getting praise from Muricy Ramalho, who called him a 'classic No. 8. However, his spell at Sao Paulo was quickly overshadowed by his disagreement with them over his contract renewal, which lead to take his situation to court, he eventually moved to Internacional."

The No. 8 that Ramalho spoke of is an interesting role that can take on a variety of meanings. However, in Sao Paulo's 3-5-2 formation of the period, it was very much the domain of the second attacking midfielder.
Oscar had always been regarded as a central playmaker, or No. 10. However, Ramalho saw Oscar as a more rounded player who could contribute defensively from his attacking midfield role—a dimension to his game that has seen the Brazilian appeal to Jose Mourinho this past season.
Moving to Internacional late in 2010, Oscar began his rapid ascent to the top of Brazilian football that would see him make his international debut less than a year later.

A versatile attacking player, Oscar became an integral member of the Internacional attacking unit early in the 2011 season. He was predominantly used as a second striker, with Andres D'Alessandro taking the lead in terms of creative responsibility and the talented Andrezinho lining up alongside him in attacking midfield.
Oscar, though, would play a variety of roles over the season, linking well with forward Leandro Damiao to score 10 league goals and also help his striker to double figures.

The season, though, would be marked by a standout performance at the Under-20 World Cup. Oscar had formed an excellent midfield understanding with the central duo of Casemiro and Fernando, allowing Philippe Coutinho to take on the No. 10 role for the side.

In the final, though, it was Oscar who added to an already impressive tournament with a spectacular hat-trick to seal the title for the Selecao.

It was that moment that sealed the young attacking midfielder's place within the Brazilian hierarchy, earning him a senior call-up just a month later. Just as he took on an ever more important role with Internacional as teammates departed, so his integration in the Brazil squad increased.

His continued rise came to a head in 2012, when Oscar assumed the No. 10 shirt and a central role in Brazil's side at the London Olympic Games. Neymar may have been the star heading into the competition, but it was the soon-to-be Chelsea star who would end the tournament as Brazil's leading light.