The latest edition of Chelsea is a must-have for all supporters, featuring interviews with our three most recent acquisitions – Oscar, Cesar Azpilicueta and Victor Moses.
The Brazilian playmaker signed for the club back in July, while both Azpilicueta and Moses put pen to paper towards the end of the summer transfer window, and in the new issue of the magazine, the youngsters talk about a wide range of subjects, such as playing football in the street, watching on nervously while normal members of the public are pursued by a pack of bulls and adjusting to life in London.
Following the announcement of Oscar’s arrival at the club, supporters didn’t have to wait long to see the talented 21-year-old in action as he was competing at the London Olympics, and it’s no exaggeration to suggest that those of a blue persuasion tuning in would have been delighted at what they saw.
Oscar played a pivotal role as Brazil cruised into the final of the competition, both as a provider and scorer of important goals along the way, and while they eventually had to settle for a silver medal after losing 2-1 to Mexico, our new boy had done more than enough to suggest that with him involved, the future – both for Chelsea and Brazil – was bright.
Like many south Americans, he started out playing the game bare-footed on the street, but with such an obvious talent, there was pressure from an early age on the shoulders of a young Oscar.
‘Since I was a little boy, everybody in Americana thought I would become a professional footballer,’ he tells Chelsea. ‘I started, as most Brazilians do, by playing on the street. In Americana, there were maybe some courts or little pitches that we would play on sometimes. However, from the age of five or six, we would play almost all the time on the street after school.
‘My father used to play football, although not professionally, and that is when most boys take up the game for the first time in Brazil – their father goes to play a game and all his friends and their families go as well, so everybody plays.
‘Since I was very little, everybody would say that I had something special and that I could make it in football.
‘Obviously, with my father playing football, most of my family liked the game as well and we all followed the same path as young boys. That’s when my older cousins would start noticing that I had some talent and, because everybody was saying this, I wanted to try my best to achieve something.’
Having been gradually eased into the side by Roberto Di Matteo in the form of two substitute appearances – against Wigan Athletic and Reading – Oscar was handed his full debut in our opening Champions League game against Juventus, and he grasped the opportunity with both hands, scoring both Chelsea goals – including an early contender for goal of the season – in a 2-2 draw.
Over the years, Brazil have produced some of the finest technical footballers ever to grace the game, including arguably the greatest player in Pele.
When it comes to icons, however, Oscar, somewhat unsurprisingly given his tender years, plumps for some more modern names.
‘The most important for me was Kaka, because he was at Sao Paulo, where I started my career. So, he was the biggest idol for us there,’ he explains. ‘Also, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo – they were the top players at the time when I started as a kid and they were already playing in Europe with top clubs.
‘These are the players that we all tried to emulate. We tried to see what they would do on the pitch and then try to do it as well as them when we played. Now, I am going to work hard to do as well as they did in Europe.’
Azpilicueta, meanwhile, who made his Chelsea debut in the 6-0 Capital One Cup win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, has swapped one big city for an even bigger one, but you won’t find the Spanish right-back complaining.
After establishing himself as a regular for his hometown club, Osasuna, he then made the switch to Marseille at the age of 20. A successful two-year stint in France saw the Blues come calling, and he believes that playing for a club where there is a massive pressure will only serve to enhance his development.
‘It’s true that this is another country and another language, but I am going to try to adapt as quickly as possible,’ he tells Chelsea.
‘I know, now that I have come to Chelsea, what it means to have to win every time you play. This is my personality anyway – I want to win every time I play a friendly match or on the games console, it doesn’t matter what it is.’
When Moses knew that Chelsea’s interest in him, which had been speculated about in the media over the course of the summer, was genuine, his mind was made up.
That’s not to say he hadn’t enjoyed his time at Wigan Athletic, because he had, but if the lure of playing for the European champions wasn’t a big enough incentive in itself, the opportunity to move back to London, the city he calls home, having moved to the capital at 11-years-old from Nigeria, merely sealed the deal.
‘I’m definitely enjoying being back in London,’ he says in his interview in the magazine. ‘It’s where I grew up and being back here and seeing my mates again and stuff like that is great. For me, it’s just like I’ve come home now, so I’m delighted about it.’
The 21-year-old attacker, who has impressed since moving to Stamford Bridge, and made his European debut in our 4-0 win against FC Nordsjaelland, goes on to discuss what is different at Chelsea, and who is familiar in terms of people he knew already.
Weir-ing his shirt with pride
Elsewhere in the new magazine, Warren Weir, the 200 metres bronze medallist at the London Olympics, talks about his passion for Chelsea. The Jamaican sprinter was a visitor to Stamford Bridge while in the capital, and in ‘One of Us’, he recalls fondly getting one over on Usain Bolt when we lifted the Champions League, keeping updated with how the Blues are doing from the other side of the world and his delight at meeting both Daniel Sturridge and Juan Mata.
Blazing a trail
This month’s ’10 Reasons why we love…..’ feature takes a look at those former Blues making their way in the coaching world, and why it’s proved so beneficial for the club. It’s an area where our former stars have flourished, both here and abroad, and we cast an eye over the post-Chelsea careers of the likes of Gianfranco Zola, John Spencer, Dmitri Kharine and, most notably, the current boss.
The latest edition of Chelsea is priced at £3.25, and available in all good newsagents and the Megastore.