Arriving from Brazil in the Summer, the São Paolo wonder kid was brought in to help usher in a new era of open attacking football at Chelsea FC.
Immediately proving his worth Oscar has become a big hit at Stamford Bridge drawing comparisons to compatriot Kaká and Germany’s Özil. Swide talks to the Brazilian about adapting to the Premiership and his new life in London.
How do you find style of football in England and how does it differ to the style in Brazil?
I think the football is harder than in Brazil, but it’s one of the best leagues in the world at the moment. Every Brazilian player dreams of coming to play in England. The main difference is that in Brazil, the football is a bit slower, more technical, whereas here, because it’s so fast and hard it’s more tactical, but it’s not a problem for me at all.
What can you do to adapt to the football in the Premier League?
I think the players that come to the Premier league, they can’t have any fear. The have to come and show their football, the way they play, that’s what I do, that’s what I think people are looking for and that’s why we are brought here. Obviously I listen to the advice of my coach, but the advice I would give to anyone would be come and play your game, and then things just fall into place.
What’s it like to work under new manager Rafael Benitez?
I think it’s very good because he likes to rotate the players and I think this is very important. We’ve been playing every week sometimes twice a week and it’s important that players are rotated so that we don’t get too tired, so it’s good.
Who of your Chelsea team mates do you think you can learn the most from?
I think you can learn from all the players but the players who have been helping me a lot since I came here are David (Luiz), even before I came to Chelsea he was helping me out when we would meet in the Brazilian national team, he knew I would eventually come to Europe so he would give me advice even then. So when I came to Chelsea he has been helping me a lot as well as Ramires and Juan Mata, but really all the players they always try to make you feel at home and help you on the pitch so I’m happy.
How do you like London?
I like it very much, it’s a wonderful city with lots of things to do, in spite of the cold. I’ve been to the London Eye and Madame Tussaud’s, I’m looking forward to doing all the rest.
Is this you first winter in the Northern Hemisphere?
To spend the whole Winter, yes. But I was here before when I was little playing with Sao Paolo, and I remember I felt the cold.
Is there a big Brazilian community in London?
There is. I meet Brazilians all the time on the street and there are lots of Brazilian restaurants and places where you can buy Brazilian products and food, so yeah, it’s big.
Is there a place in London that reminds you of home?
Well the only one is my own flat because I brought all my things from Brazil to make me feel at home, maybe the Brazilian steakhouse, it’s similar, but not the same.
Can you describe your Olympic experiences during the Summer?
It was really great. The Olympics is a really unique experience and I really hope I get the chance to participate again because although we won the silver medal, we still haven’t won the gold. But it was a wonderful experience, the atmosphere in London was great.
What is favourite food? Do you have to follow a strict diet?
I love all Brazilian food and no, I don’t follow a strict diet, or any diet, for that matter!
What is your fitness programme like? What are you working on in terms of fitness?
I always do some physical training after the normal training. First we train together as a team with all the technical planning for the next game, but after that I do more physical preparation because English football is quite hard I need to improve my physique. But I’m already improving naturally with the exercise and the physical training I do.
This is very exciting time for Brazil, how is the country changing?
Oh yes, the country is changing a lot because we’re going to have the World Cup, the Confederations Cup and also the Olympic Games in Rio so Brazil has been growing economically which means the schools have been improving, security has been improving, Brazil now looks like it’s taking another step closer to the first world countries. So it’s been great and I hope we build on the progress made so far, especially in education and security.
How will the World Cup in Brazil be different?
I believe it’s going to be very different, because the people are different. It’s going to be a very happy World Cup, very joyful, because Brazilian people like to party and they are very happy and hospitable people, they will welcome everybody very, very well. So I’m looking forward to it and I hope everybody’s looking forward to it as well.
What music do you like to listen to?
I like to listen to Brazilian music but also pop music too, but nothing special.
Do you use social media much?
Not really, I do follow it sometimes just to keep up with some of my friends, the only one I really use is Instagram.
Do you have any favourite films?
Not a particular fan of a specific film because there are so many. But I like to watch romantic comedies because my wife watches them and I watch them with her but I like action films.
What do you like to do when you have a day off?
To spend as much time as possible with my family because we don’t have much time together, so as soon as I have any spare time I enjoy spending it with my family and doing things with them, going out, seeing the city sights, the restaurants. When my family come to visit it’s even nicer because we go out even more.
Have you been learning any English? How’s it going?
Yes, it’s improving little by little. I can already understand more than before. I hope that in three or four months time I will be able to speak some but let’s see.