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Oscar on wearing Lampard’s & Drogba’s shirt number, friendship with Mata, Juve goal, possible Chelsea return

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SL Benfica v Chelsea FC - UEFA Europa League Final Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

In addition to his interview with Copa 90, former Chelsea midfielder Oscar recently sat down with PL Brasil, a Brazilian website dedicated to all things Premier League, for an exclusive chat as well, going over some similar ground but also talking about a few other Chelsea-related and non-Chelsea related things.

We’ll skip over the latter — you can check out the full interview here on PL Brasil — and concentrate on the latter. Unfortunately Fellipe’s still in the process of moving to his new place, so you’ll have to make do with some Google Translate-fu.

The one quote that’s been made into headlines most is Oscar adding a bit of specifics to his vague plan to engineer a return to Europe in the next 2-3 years, for one more go-around at the game’s highest level. Considering the five (mostly) wonderful and trophy-filled years he spent at Stamford Bridge, it’s not surprising that Chelsea would be at the top of his list.

“Yes, I would go back [to England]! I'm still young, I'm only 26 years old. Who knows in two, three years to return to the Premier League .... I would be very happy. And preferably to Chelsea, who opened the doors for me to return.”

It’s unclear if Oscar means that Chelsea have recently opened these proverbial doors, or if he means that when he left, Chelsea let him know that he’d be welcome back. Either way, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to see Oscar back at Chelsea one day — we seem to have no issues in this regard with most players, and we’d probably pay a fair bit less than the £60m we got last January.

Of course, given that Oscar tended to divide opinion during his tenure at the club as he never quite lived up to his hype, nor did he make good on Mourinho’s insistence to build a team around him. Announcing himself with one of the greatest goals ever seen at the Bridge also set him up for somewhat unreasonable expectations, though he certainly had plenty of flicks, tricks, and outrageous skill to show off (that outside of the boot goal against QPR comes to mind, too), not to mention a work-rate fit for the modern two-way attacking midfielder.

“Scoring two goals in my Champions League debut was really cool. But there were other great games. In the Premier League, there were many other important matches, in the Champions League itself, too. I do not think that [the Juventus game] was my best game. It was a debut and I made my mark, but we ended up tying. I played really well, but there were more important games in which I did not score two goals, but I played a lot better.”

Oscar also talks about some of the bad memories, like when The Interim One left him on the bench in the World Club Cup final — a competition that means much more in Brazil than in Europe — against Oscar’s old club, Corinthians (which Chelsea would go on to lose and leave Oscar in tears).

But he also talks about good memories, like becoming good friends with “Matinha” (a nickname that David Luiz also used) and having the honor of wearing the shirt numbers of both Didier Drogba (no.11) and Frank Lampard (no.8), who’s also brought up as the player who impressed Oscar the most during his time in England.

“Lampard was a guy who trained 100% all the time. In the game, he giave 100% all the time, too. I really enjoyed playing with him, I learned a lot. He impressed me a lot. Not only him, many others, but he is an example of a guy that I trained with and saw every day.”

“I took on Drogba's shirt first and Lampard's later. I felt flattered, and that the fans believed in me a lot to take on the shirts of two of the club's greatest idols. [...] Drogba, when he came back, asked me for the no.11, so that was a pretty cool thing. He came to talk to me: "Can I get the 11 back? You get the 8, which is also a great idol and will suit you too." It was very cool. With the number 8 I was champion of the Premier League; I played very well in it. I really like 8 too. And it was very remarkable to be able to play with those two shirts that I love.”

“Besides the Brazilians there was (Juan) Mata. Of course there are others who remain my friends, but one who became very friendly was Mata, even after going to Manchester. We were always neighbors in the apartments, we played almost in the same position. We had everything needed to be rivals, but we were really close friends isntead. And we are until today, and I really like Matinha.”

-Oscar; source: PL Brasil via Google Translate

In fairness, who doesn’t love Matinha? Adorable little man, even though he’s now playing more games for Manchester United than Chelsea.

In any case, not sure why Oscar’s giving all these interviews all of a sudden, but it’s good to see him doing well in China and planning for bigger and better things in the future.

Perhaps our paths will indeed cross again one day soon.