Yet another tragic chapter in the career of the once-prolific striker.
2005/2006: Adriano was on top of the world. He was endeared worldwide by fans and was called ‘The Emperor’. That’s where the rollercoaster started.
In December 2009, when he made a triumphant return to his childhood team Flamengo, leading them to the Brazilian league title and being named top goalscorer in the process, things were looking up. Adriano had endured a rough period with continuous injuries and bad form, along with his infamous antics away from the pitch. The title seemed to have put him on the right path once again. It seemed to revitalise him both as a human being and a player. But once again, success got to his head.
Since then, Adriano has been a sheer disappointment and this has not been due to the lack of chances he has received. On the contrary, since his forgettable stint at Roma and his subsequent return to Brazil, both Corinthians and Flamengo have given him second chances. He simply refuses to be professional and redeem himself, instead reverting back to bad old ways and habits.
Most recently Flamengo, signed him to a short-term contract, which had clauses that allowed for termination in the case of any unprofessional behaviour on or off the pitch. Adriano willingly took to yet another opportunity to get his life back on track, but just 3 months later, without having played a single match and numerous issues of misconduct, his contract was terminated.
Now, he is once again a free agent.
It is very likely another club will take a chance on him, purely because of his big name status. But perhaps it would be best for Adriano to realise that football will only partly put his life back on track. It has become clear that the real problem here is the human being. He needs professional help to overcome his off-field troubles and this is no longer a secret. Otherwise, it really is the end of the road.
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