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Oscar on Brazil, the World Cup and how he's living the dream of every boy in his homeland

Oscar on Brazil, the World Cup and how he's living the dream of every boy in his homeland

Posted by Juan Gavasa on June 09, 2014

Oscar has given a fascinating insight into Brazil’s World Cup carnival – and admits his homeland's team will be classed as failures unless they win the trophy. The 22-year-old Chelsea midfielder says the whole nation expects his generation to follow in the footsteps of the great Brazil teams of the past – especially as they are hosting the tournament.

But the boy from Sao Paulo believes passionately that staging football’s biggest competition will also put the eyes of the world on a nation of great contrasts. In a fascinating new book about Oscar by Tom Watt, published ahead of the World Cup finals, he said: “We all realise that we’ll only be as good as past generations if we’re able to win as past generations did.

“Of the players who were getting called up this year, only Ronaldinho and Kaka have been involved at a World Cup when Brazil have won. There are one or two others who’ve been to a World Cup and not won, like Robinho and Julio Cesar.

"Felipao [manager Luiz Felipe Scolari] has won before, of course.

“Nobody knows exactly what the manager will do, but I think the older players will be involved if they’re playing well when the squad is put together. Looking back to the Confederations Cup [which hosts Brazil won last summer], maybe people were surprised how the team came together.

“We weren’t as surprised as the fans though. We’d been working hard, trying to be united as a team and wanting very much to do well. And that’s what we’re working towards now. “We know the whole of Brazil will be behind us, willing us to succeed. Perhaps we don’t have the star players that previous generations have had, but we have unity.

“It’s a new face for the Brazil team and people recognised that – maybe began to believe in it – when they watched us win the Confederations Cup (see below).

“We’re at home and for anyone to beat us at the World Cup, they’re going to need to play really, really well! We’re all together.” Oscar talks openly about the tough life millions face in Brazil, as kids grow up against a backdrop of guns, gangs and violence.

The midfielder, who joined Chelsea for £19million two years ago from Porto Alegre side Internacional, suffered his own tragedy when his father died while he was just a toddler.

But Oscar now sees the chance of playing in a World Cup as a lifelong dream and a glorious chance for the whole country to come together.

He said: “I lost my dad when I was three. He died in a traffic accident.

“Mum raised us on her own, but because, like her, my dad’s family were from Americana [a town near Sao Paulo], she had help from them too. We were like one big family in many ways. Life wasn’t easy. We weren’t rich, my mum was on her own, but we were happy and mum looked after us really well.

“In different circumstances, our situation might have been much more difficult but we had a house to live in, we had family around us. “I’m aware, though, that there are lots of children in Brazil growing up without the support we had.

“In the favelas there are a lot of boys and girls who are having to try to find their own way, without guidance or help, and in social and economic conditions that are much worse than I experienced as a boy.

“They are drawn into the life of the gangs or they simply become the victims of violence and crime. It’s almost as if everybody assumes that is what is going to happen, that it’s those kids’ destinies.

“How can they escape? How can they change the story that’s been written for them almost since the day they were born?

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