Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Júnior was hailed as star player for Brazil last night when the samba boys took on Croatia in the opening match of the 2014 World cup.
The 22-year-old had been under pressure in the build-up with many in the media calling for him to be replaced by Chelsea teammate Willian.
After a nervous start to the match, the Chelsea player showed his raw naked talent and eventually set up Neymar for Brazil’s first goal, and then completed the win with a brilliant solo strike in injury time.
Oscar, who took time away from Brazil’s preparations to welcome his first child, later told reporters that the only man whose opinion mattered was the manager, Luiz Felipe Scolari.
“The only person who can take me out of the team is Big Phil,” said Oscar.
“What you (journalists) say doesn’t matter much. What matters is the opinion of the coach.”
After Brazil went behind to Croatia, Oscar’s hard work set up Neymar’s equaliser when he won the ball from two Croatian players in midfield and put the striker into space.
Later he got a well-earned reward when he scored a peach of a goal, coming after he ran at the Croatian defense in a solo counter-attack and toe-poked past goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa.
After conceding the own goal early in the first half, Brazil came back to win against Croatia 3 goals to 1.