Arriving in England after signing for the European champions last summer, Oscar already knew what it was to cope with pressure.
For it is one thing to be charged with following in the footsteps of Didier Drogba as Chelsea’s number 11 jersey, but it is something else altogether to be expected to uphold the traditions of the Brazilian number 10.
This is a jersey previously adorned by Pele, Rivelinho and Zico, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Kaka. There is no more iconic shirt in the game.
Yet Oscar has already set about making it his own, despite only turning 21 in September. With 13 caps to his name, the former Sao Paulo and Internacional man has notched four goals for the Selecao and also boasts an Under-20 World Cup winner’s medal and an appearance in the final of the Olympics in a short but flourishing international career.
‘This was not only my dream, but the dream of every single Brazilian. To wear the number 10 for your country is a very special thing,’ says Oscar, clearly in full understanding of the scale of his achievements. From his quiet demeanour though, you would not guess this young man was one of his country’s brightest hopes. But still adapting to English, the wiry midfielder prefers for his football to speak for him.
He is however feeling his way into the Premier League, and argues he feels at home at Stamford Bridge as he does anywhere.
‘When we play games here I feel at home already,’ he explains. ‘I love the atmosphere and it’s great to feel the support of the Chelsea fans.
‘My favourite moment here was my debut when I scored two goals. It was such a big occasion, my first time in the Champions League against such an historic opponent like Juventus. To score two goals was great, it was just a shame we didn’t win the game in the end, but I am sure there will be many more special moments to come.’
On the horizon is the prestigious friendly against Russia, the next step to securing a place for a home World Cup under Luiz Felipe Scolari in 2014.
‘To play at Stamford Bridge for Brazil would be great,’ he says, a smile spreading across his youthful face. ‘To play for the national team is already special but to do it here would be a very special occasion. If I score a goal… I can’t even explain… it is already such a special occasion to play at the home of my club for my country.
‘I hope I can play in this game and then go on to play in the World Cup in my own country. I just hope to continue improving and playing well for my club and my country to achieve this dream.’
Alongside him could yet be two of his predecessors in the number 10, with Ronaldinho and Kaka both having featured under Scolari after being dropped by Mano Menezes.
‘The older players are an inspiration to the younger ones,’ he points out. ‘I have to include Kaka, who was not called into the last squad, alongside Ronaldinho, as players who all those of my generation look to.
‘They made history for my generation, and are the players we try to emulate. To have them back involved is better because they can help with their experience. They have so much to offer and bring a lot of respect. I’m really happy they are back.’
Also involved of course will be David Luiz and Ramires, the other two elements of Chelsea’s Brazilian trio, who have helped Oscar take to life in west London. They are in fact near neighbours.
‘It was very important for me to have them here, and my adaptation has been so much quicker because of them being here,’ he admits.
‘They helped me so much, and off the pitch we are good friends. We get along very well and I am sure this will continue throughout our careers here.’
There are many battles to come in Chelsea blue, but on March 25, you can see Oscar, David Luiz and Ramires flying the flag for Brazil at Stamford Bridge. Tickets are available from £25 for adults and £12.50 for concessions. Hospitality is also available, so why not watch the game in style?