Brazilian flop Adriano set for European return

Stankovic Adriano Muntari

The man who once starred for Inter Milan is on the comeback trail again.

Watching Fred flounder for Brazil at the World Cup last summer, the chances are a fair few Selecao fans must have been wondering how different things could have been, had one-time Ronaldo-successor Adriano kept his career on track.

Once the darling of Inter Milan – the club where the phenomenon also made his name – big things were expected of Adriano after an electrifying two-year spell at the San Siro saw him rack up 46 goals in 89 games for the club from 2004 to 2006.

Football fans less informed on Serie A at the time would have got their first introduction to the striker either via his exploits for the Brazilian national team or when he featured on the cover of Pro Evolution Soccer 6 - the game still regarded by some fans as the zenith of the series.

Among the best players on the game, there was talk of Adriano’s Inter contract containing a £100 million release clause, while Chelsea were reportedly considering a blockbuster bid for the South American goalscoring sensation.

But over the next few years, things began to unravel for the burly striker nicknamed the Emperor, with a lack of fitness, a poor attitude towards training and a disastrous drought in front of goal seeing him go from hero to zero.

Personal problems dogged Adriano wherever he went, with the premature death of the player’s father signalling an alarming decline and further descent into alcoholism.

After leaving Inter, a return to form at Flamengo in the 2009-10 campaign convinced AS Roma to gamble on the Brazilian rediscovering his touch in Serie A.

But in the four years that followed, Adriano would play exactly nine games across spells with four different clubs, during which time he scored just one goal.

Unable to motivate himself to train, his night-time activities and weight gain saw the Brazilian spurn second chance after second chance.

Still only 32, however, the Emperor is now on the lookout for second-chance number five, with Sambafoot revealing the player is looking to move to France with Le Havre.

The president of the Ligue 2 side, Christophe Maillol, confirmed the plans:

“Adriano will arrive here in the next 15 days to negotiate with us and visit the club. The interest is real, I have spoken with his agent on several occasions. Adriano wants to kickstart again, he is free and Le Havre would give him a certain visibility in Europe. It would be a six month project starting in January."

In a strange parallel to the fortunes of the Konami soccer game series he once fronted, Adriano may be some way off the pace, but fans would love to see him prove it’s far from game over when it comes to football.

Relive some of Adriano's best moments here:

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