“Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Júnior isn’t actually a classic South American number ten. With Sao Paulo and then Internacional, he initially impressed as an all-round midfielder in a much deeper role; his natural busyness and combative nature is still obvious. He’s not a languid, classic playmaker – he’s more modern, more tactical, more European.
“Therefore, managers rarely talk about Oscar’s wonderful technical ability, and instead focus on his overall contribution. “He’s complete: he marks, gets involved, scores goals and is always on the move,” said his manager at Internacional, Dorival Junior. When Oscar scored two goals on his Champions League debut against Juventus, Di Matteo spoke about something else. “Oscar’s debut was fantastic – he was tactically perfect,” said the Italian, referring to his brilliant marking job on legendary deep-lying playmaker Andrea Pirlo. Many playmakers have to be included at the expense of the overall system but Oscar can be trusted to do the unglamorous things, too.”
- Top six
- Mid-table mediocrity
- Relegation dogfight
- Going down