With Brazil going into the World Cup as hosts, Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side are well aware their nation expects. Oscar was an integral part of their success in the Confederations Cup and he is confident their preparations for the biggest event in football will give them a good chance of triumph once again…
As he prepares to begin the World Cup on home soil today, Oscar believes Brazil’s success last summer will give them plenty of confidence in their quest to win the competition for the sixth time in their history.
The Chelsea playmaker was named in Luiz Felipe Scolari’s 23-man squad earlier this month and a string of impressive results during warm-up matches have done nothing to harm their status as favourites to lift the famous gold trophy.
‘We’ve been fully focused in our preparations and we will be again once the tournament begins,’ Oscar tells the official Chelsea website.
‘The nation is obviously excited but they will know how to divide when they need to support the team well and when they need to leave us to our preparations.
‘Brazil will be okay because over the last couple of years we’ve had a similar squad with the same players apart from one or two changes. Because of that I think it will help us perform when we need to.’
Oscar was a regular throughout their triumphant Confederations Cup campaign a year ago and supplied the pass from which Neymar scored their second goal in the 3-0 win against Spain in the final.
‘Obviously winning the Confederations Cup, particularly in front of our own fans, has given us a lot of confidence,’ he explains.
‘We did our homework at the time and we will do the same again. If we do that, hopefully we will have a good World Cup.’
Playing in a supporting central role behind the striker puts Oscar in a similar role for Brazil as some of the greatest players in history, the likes of Zico, Rivaldo and, arguably the pick of them all, Pele.
‘I don’t feel any pressure being “the no.10”, more recently I’ve worn the no.11 shirt but played in a no.10 position,’ he says.
‘It’s a group thing and everybody is there to show their quality. Everybody has the same objectives to meet so I don’t feel any more expectation than the other players.’
With the passionate backing of their football-crazy country behind them, Brazil are the team no side wishes to face, and Oscar hopes they can produce the type of performances which will make the rest of the nation proud.
‘When we are there it’s about the whole group,’ he says. ‘As a squad, everybody is very welcoming, which helps, and we want to do well for the whole country.’