A message to Mourinho? Chelsea star is World Cup's top tackler

Oscar may have had a mixed World Cup so far, but the Chelsea man is proving to be one of the tournament's toughest tacklers.

In his first game for Brazil at the World Cup, Oscar completed seven successful dribbles - a tally only equalled by Argentina superstar Lionel Messi.

In his second game, however, the Blues man flattered to deceive, completing only one and producing a far less encouraging display against Mexico.

But when it comes to the defensive side of his game, the 22-year-old has displayed a considerably higher degree of consistency. In fact, Oscar has won more tackles than anyone at the World Cup so far.

Indeed, as Opta stats show, the Brazilian has won 11 tackles after two appearances (he was taken off early in one of them), with Switzerland's Ricardo Rodriguez his nearest competitor.

  TeamPosWon TackleMins
Oscar Brazil MF 11 174
Ricardo Rodriguez Switzerland DF 10 180
Javier Mascherano Argentina MF 9 180
Christian Noboa Ecuador MF 8 180
Ivica Olic Croatia FW 8 159
Mathieu Debuchy France DF 7 180

While Brazil's attacking performance against Mexico could be considered flat, their defensive abilities have clearly brought results as even an attacking midfielder is doing his share.

The Selecao have only conceded one goal so far at this World Cup (a Marcelo own goal) and their defensive work-rate could prove vital should Brazil progress further into the tournament.

But the man who might be most pleased by the statistics is not coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. No, Oscar's club manager Jose Mourinho will be thrilled to see the young midfielder working so hard for his country.

The 51-year-old made no bones about his dislike for Juan Mata's lack of tracking back off the ball - and the Spaniard was soon on his way out of West London and was sold to Manchester United in January.

Should Oscar continue to win tackles and offer his team-mates so much support at the back, however, his chances of featuring in Mourinho's plans will likely receive a huge boost. And that will certainlu prove crucial with the amount of competition the Brazilian will face for his place next season.

As well as Andre Schurrle, Eden Hazard, Willian, Mohamed Salah and more vying for a place in Chelsea's attacking midfield three, summer-signing Cesc Fabregas will also have to be accommodated.

Winning more tackles than anyone at the World Cup, though, is exactly the kind of message Mourinho will want to see from the Chelsea man.

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