LNTUP

Former Inter Milan striker Adriano wants to revive his footballing career

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Former Brazilian prodigy Adriano discusses the depression that stalled his career and why he wants to resume playing at 35 years of age.

Once considered a future Ballon d’Or winner, Adriano had everything it took to make it on the big stage. But like a number of highly talented players, inconsistency would ruin what promised to be a stellar career.

A number of off-field issues including his father’s untimely death, would bring his world spiralling down.

“After my father’s death, I was trapped in this tunnel of depression,” Adriano said in an interview with TV Globo.

“I couldn’t get out, for three or four months I was just a wreck. I had psychological support, all of Inter stood by me and the team tried to help, but it was much bigger and stronger than I could handle.

Adriano was so deeply troubled that he started drinking excessively, would disappear for days. The depression would be so acute that his mother confessed she feared he’d commit suicide.

“I decided to go back to Brazil and in 2006 returned to São Paulo. José Mourinho wanted me back at Inter, but it wasn’t the same thing, I wasn’t as strong as before.

“I no longer had the mental strength to play abroad, as I wanted to be near to my family and I missed Brazil so much. So very much. It was only thanks to my family that I didn’t go down a very dark path.”

Adriano then went on to have brief spells at Flamengo, Roma, Corinthians, Atlético Paranaense and Miami United, but effectively retired in May last year when he inexplicably stopped playing for the American club.

But 8 years after leaving Inter and a year on from his retirement, Adriano wants to give his career another shot.

“I’m preparing myself for a new project, I’ll be back on training in January. Without a club,” he said.

“Ever since I stopped, I have succeeded in maintaining my shape. I want this and I know I’ll have to persist. I want do this for myself, I want to show I can reach my limits so I can tell if I can play or not.”