Oscar

Team: Shanghai SIPG

Age: 25

Position: Attacking midfielder

Nationality: Brazil

Former team: Chelsea

Oscar, or Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Júnior, born in Americana in the state of Sao Paulo, started his youth career at União Barbarense, where he impressed so much that he was taken into the state capital Sao Paulo to join the Sao Paulo FC youth setup, at the age of 13 in 2004.

Just four years later, in the second leg of a Copa Sudamericana match against Atletico Paranaense, on 28th August 2008, at the age of 16, Oscar made his debut. He played the full 90 minutes and missed a penalty in the shootout as Sao Paulo were eliminated.

He had to wait another half a year for his domestic debut, however. That came on 13th March 2009 as he played the final eight minutes in a 5-0 win over Mirassol in the top division.

Oscar only played 13 times in total for the Sao Paulo first team, always coming on as a substitute and never starting a domestic match. He was sold to Internacional before the 2010 season started.

That transfer did not go smoothly. Oscar’s representatives claimed that Sao Paulo had failed to pay his wages as promised. They then argued that his contract was void and Oscar initially joined Internacional on a free transfer.

Sao Paulo would not leave it at that and claimed that Oscar was still their “property”. Eventually, the case was settled for a fee of €6 million.

His first season at Internacional was not a success. He only played five times for them in the 2010 season and only started once.

The 2011 season was to be his breakthrough, as he played 26 times and scored 10 while assisting another seven goals in the league. He started 24 of the 26 league matches. After this great season, he also earned his first Brazil call-up and made his debut, against Argentina no less. He came on as a late substitute in the 0-0 draw.

His impressive performances were noticed by Premier League giants Chelsea, who paid £19.35 million for his services in July 2012.

He made his debut for Chelsea a month later in the 2012/13 season opener against Wigan on 19th August.

He made his first start a month later in the Champions League at home to Juventus. Oscar scored twice and was awarded Man of the Match afterwards.

During his time at Chelsea, Oscar won everything he could win except for the Club World Cup, the Community Shield and the UEFA Super Cup.

He played his 200th match for Chelsea on 26th October 2016 in a League Cup defeat to West Ham.

After four years at Chelsea, Oscar moved to Shanghai SIPG for a reported fee of £60 million. He scored in both his unofficial and official debuts, netting against Al-Batin from Saudi Arabia in a friendly and Sukhothai from Thailand in the 2017 AFC Champions League qualifying play-off round.

It has started well for Oscar in the league too. In the first match, he had three assists in the 5-1 thrashing of Changchun Yatai. He has played every match so far in the league and accumulated two more assists. Shanghai SIPG are currently fourth in the league, only two points behind league leaders Shandong after five games.

About the Author

Ola Bjerkevoll
Norwegian studying sports journalism in England. Lover of all football, especially Chinese, German and Oceanian. Twitter: @olabje