Os­car’s first-start stun­ner

vs Ju­ven­tus, Cham­pi­ons League, 2012

FourFourTwo - - CONTENTS -

Os­car will al­ways re­mem­ber his first start in a Chelsea shirt.

The Samba young­ster had just moved to Europe from In­ter­na­cional when Roberto Di Mat­teo threw him in for the Blues’ open­ing Cham­pi­ons League group game against Ju­ven­tus at Stam­ford Bridge. Chelsea were the Euro­pean cham­pi­ons; Os­car a fresh-faced mid­fielder who had re­cently cel­e­brated his 21st birth­day.

‘’I was so, so happy when the man­ager let me know that I was in the start­ing line-up,” Os­car tells FFT. “It was noth­ing more than a dream com­ing true. A Cham­pi­ons League night at home, against one of the big­gest sides in Europe – I couldn’t imag­ine things would be­come even bet­ter than that.’’

Ju­ven­tus had gone 42 domestic games un­beaten, their XI in­clud­ing Gian­luigi Buf­fon, An­drea Pirlo and the de­fen­sive tri­umvi­rate of Gior­gio Chiellini, An­drea Barza­gli and Leonardo Bonucci. Not that Os­car was too con­cerned about that. He fired the west Lon­don­ers in front with a de­flected ef­fort, then smashed in a stun­ner only two min­utes later. Col­lect­ing a pass from Ash­ley Cole with his back to goal, the Brazil­ian fended off Bonucci be­fore a Bergkamp-es­que first touch di­rected the ball around one side of Pirlo while he ran around the other. Os­car then swiv­elled and swerved his shot be­yond Buf­fon from 25 yards. “It’s not just one of the great­est goals of my ca­reer, but per­haps it’s also one of the most beau­ti­ful in Chelsea’s his­tory,” he smiles, re­call­ing the ab­so­lute bel­ter that won him the Blues’ Goal of the Sea­son award. “You don’t de­ceive An­drea Pirlo ev­ery day and then beat Gigi Buf­fon with a great shot, do you? “These guys are my idols and I was lucky to do both things per­fectly. The drib­ble was smart and the curl­ing shot was un­stop­pable, even for the best keeper in the world. It was a few sea­sons ago now but Chelsea sup­port­ers still come up to me and say ‘thank you’ for that goal. I’ll never for­get it.”

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