Oscar's move to the Chinese Super League for a whopping €60 million euros, the biggest transfer in Asian football history, raised eyebrows not just due to the newly-developed financial muscle of Chinese football, but also for a lack of ambition shown by the Brazilian footballer to move to a league that's way down the pecking order of club football in the world.
Since that move, the former Chelsea midfielder has been a forgotten man. One goal in 14 matches in the CSL has played a big role in him slipping under the radar.
However, Oscar was back under the limelight on Sunday, as he triggered a mass brawl in the Chinese Super League when players and staff from his Shanghai SIPG side and opponents Guangzhou R&F scrapped on the pitch.
After the former Chelsea midfielder appeared to fire the ball deliberately twice at Guangzhou players, he was rushed by several opponents, fell to the ground and a melee broke out.
One player from each side was sent off as the opening of the CSL transfer window was marked in rambunctious style.
The fight erupted just before half-time in Sunday's CSL clash at Guangzhou R&F, where Andre Villas-Boas's SIPG were attempting to keep up the pressure on league leaders Guangzhou Evergrande.
The home side's Chen Zhizhao retaliated, pushing the 25-year-old Brazilian to the floor, then players, coaching staff and substitutes poured off the benches and waded in as Oscar lay face down on the pitch.
When order was restored after pushing and shoving, R&F's Li Tixiang and Shanghai's Fu Huan were dismissed and three others were booked.
Oscar was unhurt and the fiery encounter finished 1-1 to leave SIPG four points behind reigning champions Guangzhou Evergrande.
Portuguese manager Villas-Boas defended Oscar, saying that he was "just being passionate".
Another Brazilian international, the forward Hulk, equalised for Shanghai after being set up by Oscar just before the fisticuffs.
R&F players were incensed that the goal was allowed to stand as Oscar appeared to have been offside before his assist.
Villas-Boas told Shanghai's official social media: "Our goal should be offside and it was unlucky for Guangzhou."
R&F apologised after the home side racked up five yellow cards in addition to the one red.
"We are sorry about the infringements during the game and hope the players can adjust their attitude and prepare for the following game," R&F said in a statement.
But that apology might not be enough for the CSL and image-conscious Chinese Football Association (CFA).
Shanghai Shenhua's Qin Sheng was hit with a six-month ban earlier this year for stomping on Belgian international Axel Witsel of Tianjin Quanjian.
Then last month Zhang Jian, senior vice-president and general secretary of the CFA, called for "good order" between the league's foreign stars and domestic players after allegations of racism and a number of on-field flare-ups.
With inputs from AFP
Published Date: Jun 19, 2017 02:30 pm | Updated Date: Jun 19, 2017 02:30 pm