Adriano ‘the animal’ is still to find his bite
Adriano is surely one of the most frustrating players in the world.
The Brazilian has all the assets needed to be one of the very best strikers — power, pace and guile — yet he has wasted several opportunities to show he can be consistently good.
Indiscipline is part of his problem. Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho left him out for five games after he ignored his orders in a league match, stayed out at a night club and turned up late for training.
Cunning Mourinho brought him back for this weekend’s big clash with rivals Juventus, hoping Adriano would make the most of his return from exile.
Serie A leaders Inter deservedly won 1-0 and Adriano was alright but did nothing spectacular. Afterwards Mourinho defended his decision to recall the striker saying he needed ‘an animal’ to battle against Juve.
But didn’t Adriano used to be something more than an animal?
He scored goals for fun for Inter and Brazil in 2004 and 2005, good goals at that, but a disappointing World Cup was the start of a sharp decline. His lifestyle upset then Inter boss Roberto Mancini and last year an overweight Adriano was packed off on loan to Sao Paulo.
He rediscovered his verve in Brazil and on his return to Inter it looked like he was going to be a regular, threatening Mourinho’s obsession with three upfront.
Now the 26-year-old is once again in no man’s land. Will he finally fulfill his potential or is ‘the Animal’ destined to feed off scraps for the rest of his career?
PHOTO: Inter Milan’s Adriano (R) challenges Giorgio Chiellini of Juventus during their Serie A match at the San Siro, Nov. 22. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo