Oscar explains why he is not in a rush to turn out on the pitch for the Premier League club.
Chelsea’s season started promisingly, but it is now threatening to become a failure.
Out of the FA Cup, the League Cup and now the Champions League, only the Premier League trophy remains a realistic target. Even that is out of the Blues’ reach: they need Liverpool and Manchester City to drop points in the final rounds of matches.
This is the time when all the players should pull together in the same direction and try to end the season on a high. However, there is one star who is wary of giving his all in the final days of the campaign.
And that’s Brazil international Oscar. The 22-year-old attacking midfielder has been largely a success since his move to Chelsea from Internacional in the summer of 2012 and was in brilliant form earlier this term.
However, the youngster picked up a hip injury and has been out of action for the last three matches. The problem caused him to sit on the bench for Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final matches against Atletico Madrid and also saw him left out of the squad for the clash against Liverpool in the Premier League last Sunday.
Oscar is a player around whom manager Jose Mourinho wants to build his team and even let Juan Mata leave for Manchester United in January. He is a player that the Portuguese manager has lots of faith in, but the Brazilian has now admitted that he may not risk himself in case he suffers a serious injury and misses out on the World Cup that will be held in his home country in the summer.
‘I'm not playing because I felt a pain due to an injury to my hip, so in the last league game against Liverpool I was not called on,’ he told Globo. ‘I warmed up [against Atletico], but Mourinho knew that I could hardly play. Maybe I will not play the next game [against Norwich City] because I could suffer a more serious injury to my hip and he knows it.
‘We're aiming to try to play me in the final clash of the Premier League [against Cardiff City], but I have to take care for the World Cup. We still have two very important games in the Premier League because Chelsea can still be champions, but it is important I rest because the World Cup is here’.
It might enrage some Chelsea fans that he is ‘saving’ himself for the World Cup, but you could hardly blame him. After all, playing for his country in their home tournament is a dream that few can accomplish.