Player Who Had it All to Become One of the Best

We are in the period of the domination of two players on the football pitches. One is from Argentina and the other one is from Portugal. They gave everything for us to love this game even more. The achievements they have accomplished can barely be counted.  Of course, I am talking about Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Together, they won 11 Ballon D’or awards for the best player in Europe. They won 44 titles in total (24 for Messi and 20 for Ronaldo). We could go all day talking about the achievements of these two. However, this article is dedicated to another player who could have easily one all the above mentioned.

The Emperor

I am going to talk about the Emperor from Brazil, Leite Ribeiro Adriano. Adriano had everything that is necessary to become one of the greatest players in the football history.

He started the career in Flamengo in 1997 when he was 15 years old. At the very beginning it was obvious what talents he has. In 2000, he made his debut for the Flamengo first team. In the season 2001/2002 he joined the FC Inter Milano. He did not get the chance immediately, he was rather sent on loans. First, he went to Fiorentina for one season and then from 2002/2004 he played for Parma on loan. His talent came to spotlight on his spell at Parma. From 2004 to 2009, every Inter fan will remember these years. He was something very special. He had the speed, strength, and powerful shot (every person who played PES 6 know what I am talking about).


Not only on the PES, he showed the exact skills in real life. His goal against Udinese where he rushed from his own half and score a goal. Then, there is a magnificent goal against Roma in Italian Cup. He find the space and took a shot from over 30 meters, the goalkeeper did not stand a chance. There is a match against Valencia where opposition players are bouncing of him as he was made of concrete.

When Ibrahimovic was asked who was the best player he played with, he said that it was Adriano. Zlatan described him as a total beast on the pitch.

His playing style was as most of Brazilians. Enjoying every match. He would show a trick or two during the game, but on the other hand he was very reliable and put the team in first place.

What happened?

In 2004, he received the phone call that his father has passed away. That was a breaking point for Adriano. He started drinking, and partying in nightclubs. Massimo Moratti, the then president of Inter, sent him back to Brazil to an unpaid leave. It was obvious that Adriano lost focus for football.

He was not himself anymore. The death of his father struck him so bad that there was no way to bring him back, to be himself again. The completed Inter staff did the best they could do, but it was in vain.

In one point, Javier Zanetti, the then captain of Inter, said that they did everything they could in order to save his career. Adriano was so attached to his father that his death struck him deeply.

In 2009, Adriano left Inter to join Flamengo. In 2010 Roma signed Adriano but in May 2011, he left the club and get back to Brazil.

There were many stories about his life in Brazil. It is said that he joined the gang in Brazil, that he posted pictures on Instagram holding weapons in his hands. However, once again he tried to revive his career by joining The USA Miami United in 2016 but he did not succeed there. He retired from football in 2016.

Sum up

Having in mind his career before his father’s death, he had the ability to score, to out run, to assist. Everyone saw Adriano as the new Messi (before Messi) with one small addition, he was dominant in air as well. During his rather short career, he scored 107 goals in 241 appearances. In Inter Milan, he scored 47  games in 115 appearances. Today, he is in Brazil, living the life with the full lungs.

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