The Barclays Premier League and La Liga, the top divisions in England and Spain respectively, have long been regarded as the best in the world. That there has been a three-way tussle for the title in both countries this season has only strengthened that belief.
It is no shock Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona are gunning for glory domestically. What is a surprise is that the league leaders in England and Spain are Liverpool and Atletico Madrid. They are also our next two opponents.
Oscar is hopeful we can emerge victorious in both games, starting in Merseyside on Sunday, to ensure that yet again we have everything to play for until the campaign’s climax.
‘It will be a good game,’ the Brazilian tells the official Chelsea website. ‘It will be like a final because of the importance of the game to both teams.
‘If we can win against Liverpool the title will be possible. We will have two more games and we will be two points behind them. Every game is a final now and everybody is enjoying this time because of that.’
Oscar is approaching the end of his second season at Chelsea and as he chats at the club’s training base in Cobham in his ever-improving English he reflects with pride on his time in west London so far.
‘The two years have been unbelievable for me. I think next year will be the same for me and Chelsea. I want to stay here for many years like Terry and Lampard have.
‘Chelsea is such a big club and every year we try to win titles. I like this so much. Last season it was the Europa League and this year we are in the semi-finals of the Champions League and fighting for the title in the Premier League. The season has been good.’
There has been a remarkable consistency to the frequency of football Oscar has participated in since signing for the Blues. The 22-year-old made a club record number of appearances in his maiden year at Chelsea, and that busy campaign was bookended by appearances for his nation in the Olympic Games and the Confederations Cup.
Though of course always a constant in the matchday squad when not injured, in recent months the midfielder appears to have been managed slightly differently, being substituted or named as a substitute more often. It is a situation he is comfortable with.
‘Last season I played so many games and it has been the same this season as well. Sometimes it is better to be on the bench and to play the second half.
‘If I start and I play 70 minutes before being changed that’s also okay because of the amount of games I have played.
‘When I play I know I can play well and with intensity because I have played a little less.’