Every footballer at the peak of their career wants to play in Europe and win major trophies and medals. This is not the case for a young Brazilian who moved from one of the best Premier league clubs, Chelsea to Chinese Super League club, Shanghai SIPG.
Oscar dos Santos is a Brazilian footballer who started his football career at São Paulo. In 2009, he signed for Internacional where he became popular and caught attention of many European clubs. His football skills and prowess earned him a call to Chelsea for a fee worth £25 million in 2012.
Oscar became one of the formidable forces in Chelsea squard, paired with the likes of Lampard and Mikel in the midfield. He made his name known in UEFA Champions league match against Serie A Champion, Juventus in September, 2012 netting twice. The night was a memorable one most Chelsea fans will never forget. After the game, Oscar was named man of the match and his goal that night was also named Chelsea goal of the season.
“I am very happy with two goals on my debut but I would have been much happier if the team had won the game. In Brazil, young boys dream of playing in the Champions League and I’m very proud to have realised my dream.”
At Chelsea, Oscar made more than 200 appearances. He won two Premier league titles, one English League Cup and one Europa league. He scored 38 goals and 37 assists in his four and half years at Chelsea. In 2016, Oscar’s time at Chelsea came to an abrupt and sudden end at the age of 25 in a deal worth £60 million from Shanghai SIPG.
This move still keeps everyone wondering til date that a player like Oscar who had the football world at his feet could move to China unprecedentedly at the prime of his career. In terms of standard, Chinese super league is not in anyway comparable to English premier league. Even leagues like Spanish, French and Italian leagues are still not in the same level with English premier league in terms of standard, TV rights, sponsorships and competitions.
In a short interview with the media, Oscar made it known that he received offers from big clubs like Atlético Madrid and three Italian clubs but he decided to join Shanghai SIPG
“When I was talking with Shanghai, I was talking to big clubs from Europe, as well. There was Atletico Madrid, who I almost joined. I liked them very much and what they were offering me at the time. There was also Juventus, Inter Milan, and AC Milan. I had some options. But I opted for Shanghai and afterwards I can still return to Europe.”
The lucrative offer and humongous weekly wages of around £400,000 made him the third highest paid footballer in 2016. Oscar told reporters that his poor family background is one of the reasons that prompted his move to China.
“Every football player, or every person who works, wants to earn money to help their families, I came from a social background in Brazil that is very poor. We didn’t have anything. This is the fruit of my work and when I earn this, it is because I conquered it….”
Oscar might be enjoying his time and making his money as he planned but his football career at the top and international levels has been ruined. Ever since he left Chelsea, he has been overlooked in many occasions by his national team coach. His last feature for his country was in November 2015. As expected, this move also made him miss out the 2018 FIFA World cup in Russia.
Oscar, however, made what he believes was the correct decision not just for himself but for his entire family, having now set them up for life.