So, as you're all aware, we got a fun little update regarding Oscar today. Internacional confirmed that they're in talks with Chelsea, and that a deal's close. Their president, Giovanni Luigi, went on to state that they'd like for it to 'be the biggest ever deal in Brazilian football'. Cue panic stations and furious scribbling from the media.
Let's take a look at some assorted headlines:
- Chelsea 'record' deal for Oscar - ESPN
- Chelsea told to break the bank to sign Oscar from Internacional - AP
- Inter eye record Oscar deal - Sky Sports
I could go on, but that would be a little bit pointless. Anyway, you get the drift -- according to the media, Luigi's request is sensational, meaning that Chelsea matching that request would be equally sensational. Which would be fine, if not for the fact that it's essentially nonsense.
As previously mentioned (and I don't know why this is two pieces and not one, but I only just got angry about this, so bear with me), the Brazilian transfer record is a little shy of £22M, paid in 1998 by Real Betis. Put in a footballing context, that's not an awful lot of money. Out of context, it is an awful lot of money*, but whatever. We like context. Context is good.
*If you disagree and you're a fan of this blog, please drop me an email and we can arrange a special subscription price.
And the context of Brazilian football is changing, rapidly. Instead of the stars leaving young, they're being allowed more time to develop at home before heading abroad. The next generation of Brazilian greats, spearheaded by Neymar, are yet to enter European football, and if they do, they'll come as far more polished talents than their predecessors.
Oscar will break the Brazilian transfer record when he's sold. Great. Lucas Moura will then break that Brazilian transfer record, and goodness knows how much Neymar's going to go for when Santos finally get around to freeing him from Pele's basement and ship him off to Europe. But acknowledging that the situation has changed in Brazil and adjusting expectations accordingly requires de-sensationalising your news. We can't be having that, now can we?