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When everyone thought Adriano had definitively left his off-field problems behind and was on the way to becoming once again one of the most feared strikers in the world, writes Pedro Fonseca, the Brazil international is showing that his personal fragility still haunts him.
The 28-year-old striker, who at the height of his powers helped Brazil win the 2004 Copa America and 2005 Confederations Cup as best player and top scorer of both competitions, returned to training with Flamengo on Monday for the first time since playing for Brazil in a World Cup warm-up against Ireland in London a week ago.
Last Friday, when Adriano was expected at Flamengo, he didn’t turn up. The justification given by the Rio club’s vice-president raised fears Adriano again faced problems with drink, one of the reasons for his loss of form and disenchantment with his football career in the past.
“Adriano’s problems are notorious and well known,” said Marcos Braz.
Adriano looks to have played his last match for Inter Milan after failing to return to the Serie A leaders from international duty with Brazil this month and announcing he was taking a break from football.
President Massimo Moratti said last week that Inter were considering extinguishing the player’s contract, which runs until the end of next season.
A missing person’s hunt has ended happily in Brazil. Inter Milan striker Adriano has been found.
The burly 27-year-old, who has battled drink and personal problems in the past, failed to return to Italy last week after being an unused substitute in Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers with Ecuador and Peru. Inter had no idea where he was.
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.