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Adriano, the player that never was due to drinking problems

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Brazilian former striker Adriano finally spoke in public about his dreadful problems with alcohol when he played for Internazionale Milano, right after his father died.

This past week we wrote about football’s biggest flops and we talked about Brazilian striker Adriano, but we put him at the end of the list because the reasons of his failure in football are very sad and there is no reason to mock him for the tragic life he suffered. During his time at Internazionale Milano in Italy, Adriano Leite Ribeiro got so good as a striker that people were already calling him the next Ronaldo Nazario. Yes, he was getting that good at playing football and we were all excited for the incredible career that was in front of him. But in 2004 just as he was living his best moment in football, Adriano’s father died of apparently natural causes and suddenly the whole world came crumbling on him. The striker had his father as the only major support and his passing proved to be his downfall in professional football, suddenly he became more inclined to drinking and a life filled with excess that eventually pushed him completely out of football. Not too soon after he returned to Brazil with all those problems, Adriano started hanging out with members of Brazilian crime groups that got him mixed in crowds he later regretted.


Talking to Brazilian magazine R7 that got an exclusive interview with the former player who is retired from football and tries to lead a quiet life now: “Only I know how much I’ve suffered. My father’s death left a huge void in my life, it made me feel so alone and I isolated myself when he passed away. It was the worst. I saw myself alone, sad and depressed in Italy, that’s exactly when I started drinking. I was only happy when I drank every night. I would drink anything they put in front of my: wine, whiskey, vodka, and lots of beer too. I just couldn’t stop and the time came when I had to leave Inter. I didn’t know how to hide it anymore, I used to come drunk into many training sessions in the morning. I trained even if I was drunk out of my mind. The staff took me to the infirmary to sleep it off and they told the press I was having muscular problems. Later in my life, I understood the crowd I was hanging out with, friends who only took me out partying with women, alcohol and just lose myself without thinking about anything else. Today I gave up all the millions and decided to buy happiness instead,” said the former striker.

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This interview just another one of football’s examples of where a life filled with excess can take you, it also reflects how professional players who don’t have their families close or end up losing them for any reason can affect them on a deep level. Adriano who lost everything, was never able to find his way back into the world of football and has always been regarded as a wasted talent. However, it’s very easy for people to just point their fingers without realizing the damage their judgment can inflict on a fragile soul that has been through so much suffering in his life. Maybe if all this criticism had been funneled in a more positive manner, we might have gotten that amazing striker back and he could’ve become one of Brazil’s biggest players in football history. Because trust me when I tell you, Adriano in his prime was just as good as any of the biggest Brazilian players who ever played the game. It’s a damn shame he never had that shoulder to cry on when he was feeling down, that person who helped him make the right decisions that would’ve eventually helped him recover. Let this be a lesson to everyone.


How far do you think Adriano could’ve gotten if he wouldn’t have lost himself after his father’s passing? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.