May 30, 2012; Landover, MD, USA; USA midfielder Jermaine Jones (13) leaps in the air to head the ball between Brazil midfielder Oscar (10) and forward Neymar (11) during the second half of a men's international friendly match at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-US PRESSWIRE
Remember how closely we followed the Neymar rumours when he was supposed to be coming to Chelsea? We saw a brilliant player who was also incredibly annoying thanks to his habit of making everyone aware that he was aware of his demigod-esque talent, to the point that it detracted from his ability to actually play football sometimes. It's occasionally funny (like when he got sent off for wearing a mask of himself while celebrating a goal), but it's mostly fairly annoying. Neymar's great, but his baggage is not.
Fortunately, not all of Brazil's prodigious talent follows Neymar's lead. Indeed, Chelsea new boy Oscar sounds like pretty much the antithesis of Santos' megastar -- check out David Luiz's comments about the 20-year-old:
Oscar has his own characteristics, you cannot compare him to other people on the pitch, but off it he reminds me of Ramires. He is an amazing person, a very simple guy to get to know, very quiet and respectful of everybody around him. I know he will have a great future with us, not just on the pitch but outside the pitch also.
Thank goodness. You can see that personality show up on the pitch as well. Sadly, the touches video from Brazil vs. Egypt has already been yanked off Youtube, but if you watched it you saw a hugely impressive, composed display. In football, flashiness can be a good thing, if properly timed, and Oscar's style reflects that. He kept it very simple and did the right thing. Sometimes the right thing called for a spectacular piece of skill, so skill was employed, and then he went right back to being a little metronome out there.
That sort of maturity is exactly what we should be looking for in a midfielder. Oscar's been very impressive for both club and country all season, and he's stepping his game up now. The fact that he's apparently the anti-Neymar off the pitch just makes me like the signing even more.