Adriano’s disgrace: final stop to the Emperor’s career?
Pelé says footballers die twice: on the day they actually leave this planet and on the second they hang their boots. If that is true, very few players know what death is like more than Adriano. This week he hinted he would go to the grave for the second time, after struggling with his weight and lacking any interest for professionalism. He also said he would like to come back from the dead in 2013, but no one seemed to believe the former Inter Milan star. A 30-year-old-man who got so far from reality he was reported to have skipped physiotherapy sessions in his own house in Rio de Janeiro.
He was supposed to play for Flamengo, the most popular Brazilian club. It is the place where he showed all his finishing power for the first time, in 2000. It is also where proved he was still useful on the pitch, in distant 2009, after misleading the Italians with a “break from football”. But his time the red and black cariocas were so distrustful of him they offered a contract with no pay until he was in action.Adriano gave up on them first, five months after signing up. The problems were the same he had since after the 2006 World Cup: too much drinking and too much clubbing to try to forget this father’s death. At least that is what some his friends say.
This was already regarded in Brazil as a last opportunity for Adriano. In the beginning of 2012 he left South American champions Corinthians because of same trouble prone attitude. The paulista club gave him his last highlight on the pitch exactly one year ago, when he scored the winner in a match that put the team close to the Brazilian league title it would win. It was his first goal after almost two years. He scored another in the beginning of this year. And that was the last sight of him on the pitch.
Football pundits have said for many years Adriano is the natural heir to Ronaldo. They assure he would be perfect for Brazil’s number 9 during the 2014 World Cup. They defended clubs didn’t give up on him. Adriano never cared about their opinions. His likely retirement is bad news for the hosts, who will have to bet on a team without any feared reference in the penalty box. It is even worse for the man. The Emperor seems to be dead. And the human being sadly isn’t that far of heading in the same direction.