Oviedo Puts Friendship On Hold
Everton's Costa Rica star aims to beat pal Ruiz on Saturday.
Bryan Oviedo will put his friendship with Bryan Ruiz on hold this weekend.
Everton's versatile left-sided summer arrival and Fulham's playmaking forward are close friends from their time together with the Costa Rican national side. But that will all be forgotten for 90 minutes on Saturday afternoon as Oviedo aims to ruin his international captain’s day.
"It is nice to play against Bryan," he told evertontv. "I talk with him a lot and we are the only two Costa Rican players in England. We need to win and take the three points.
"I spoke to him before I joined Everton and we still speak on the telephone. I congratulated him on the goal (he scored against Reading last weekend). He is a very good guy and our national team captain. He is a good person.
"I spoke with him two days ago, he told me Fulham need the three points but I told him it is the same for Everton. Maybe after the game we will swap shirts."
Ruiz scored a superbly executed goal against the Royals last weekend and also netted against Everton in last season's corresponding fixture.
But the former FC Twente player, a £10m signing 14 months ago, isn't the Cottagers' only attacking threat.
"I think Fulham has good attacking players; Berbatov, Bryan and Rodallega are good players so we will need to be careful," noted Oviedo.
"But we have a very good team, very strong defenders and good players in midfield and attack.
"It is very important for us to win this weekend because we what to stay in the top places. We need to win to keep close to the Champions League positions."
Oviedo's Everton action to date has been limited to substitute cameos and the Capital One Cup but his brief taste of the Merseyside derby last weekend has provided a big boost to the 22-year-old.
"It was a very nice experience," he beamed. "I was looking forward to it and the atmosphere was amazing. I have played in derbies before but this one was very, very special. When I came to Everton everyone talked about the game and I am so happy to have played 10 minutes of it.
"The team has a strong mentality. We have come back from being 1-0 and 2-0 down in recent games and the team is very united."