London: It is a modern but well-worn curse for players of a certain age from Brazil to be labelled as the `new Kaka`, with the likes of Hernanes, Ganso and a whole host of others having been compared to the Real Madrid man - the country`s most high profile player of the last decade.
It is hard to imagine that anyone has suffered the curse as much as Internacional’s Oscar, who started at the same Sao Paulo grounds where the former AC Milan playmaker first made his name. However, with a big-money move to Europe in the offing and Chelsea the likely destination, the comparisons, I dare say, are justified.
At the Morumbi youth ranks, when Oscar was 16, people were already predicting that the Tricolor had a star in the making. The Tricolor board, however, must have been in shock when the player and his representatives went to court to claim his player rights from the club. The lawyers alleged that the youngster was coerced into signing a five-year contract with Sao Paulo when he was 16, despite Fifa’s strict rules against this kind of act. There then followed a series of legal disputes between Oscar and the club from the end of 2009 until mid-2010, when he signed for Internacional.
Joining the then Copa Libertadores champions was not always easy for the player, as he was far behind coach Celso Roth’s first team preferences, having to battle for a spot against the likes of Andrés D’alessandro, Tinga and Giuliano. Oscar enjoyed little playing time during the second semester, but it was enough for Inter fans to acknowledge what a gem of a player their team had just signed. As was predicted, he only had a few minutes during the tragic Club World Cup campaign later that year, much to the supporters’ disapproval. The fact is, as soon as the next pre-season started, Oscar grabbed a starting place and never let it go.