The story of Adriano Leite Ribeiro!


Adriano was once considered one of the best strikers in the world. People expected him to be the new Ronaldo, but he ended up as an over-hyped failure. This is the story of Adriano Leite Ribeiro!

Brazil favelas aren’t a “nice” place. Everyone knows that. The place filed with poverty, crime, drugs, and a lot of people. Favelas are basically the closes thing to human hell on earth. Brazil favelas are also the places which “produced” one of the best football players in the world.

Ronaldo, Romario, and Zico are just some of the players that began their life in favelas. They all (eventually) became world’s best players.

The reason why favelas are able to produce such players is because there are no real alternatives to crime and football (which is cheap). You can steal, sell drugs, or play football. Football is obviously the best choice. If you play football every day with nothing else to do (no school) than you can be better than everyone else.

Adriano was signed by Inter in 2001!

That’s also how Adriano Leito Ribeiro became one of the best strikers in the world. Born in Vila Cruzeiro, one of the worst favelas. Although this kind of life definitely left an imprint on Adrian’s life, he managed to avoid the worst and concentrated on football instead.

Adriano started his youth football career relatively late, at 15 years of age (Neymar started when he was 11 years old), when he signed for Flamengo in 1997. It took him three years before he made his professional debut and he soon after claimed a place in Flamengo’s first team!

Adriano didn’t leave much of an impression at Flamengo. He was signed by Inter Milan, after season and a half (basically one full season) and was brought to Italy.

Adriano became known at Parma!

Italy was totally different at the time (in football sense). Italy had the strongest league in football, and Adriano basically made a dream move, which didn’t go according to plan.

He barely played in his first stint at Inter and went on loan to Fiorentina for half a season. Fiorentina ended up relegated and broke. They couldn’t afford him, but Parma could. Parma bought 50 percent of Adriano ownership, and the bulky Brazilian continued his career at Parma.

Adriano really rose to prominence at Parma, where he showed his biggest strengths.

Adriano was signed by Inter again in 2004

Tall, incredible strong, with fantastic left foot, Adriano scored 17 goals for Parma in that season. This obviously got Inter itching to bring the player back!

Inter did bring the player back, eventually. Adriano signed (again) for inter in 2003/2004 season for around €23 million, which was a very large amount of money at the time!

Adriano had a good second start at Inter, as he became the key striker and player for Nerazzurri.

Adriano peaked between 2004 and 2005!

Years 2004 and 2005 were the peak of Adriano’s career. He won Copa America with Brazil (being the best goalscorer), he won Confederations Cup with Brazil (again being the best goalscorer), while he also scored 28 goals for Inter.

After those two years, everything went horribly wrong. Some predict that the main reason for Adriano’s demise after that time was the death of Adriano’s father, but I would disagree.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s father also died when the player was relatively young, and he managed to “survive” the tragedy without a meltdown. I think the main reason was Adriano’s mental state.  Adriano was bound to have this kind of troubles, no matter what happened.

Adriano’s main problem was depression!

After 2005, Adriano’s decline started. His from dropped considerably in 2006, scoring ten goals less for Inter, while having a a disappointing World Cup campaign with Brazil.

When 2006/2007 season started, Adriano was visibly overweight, spending most of his time partying and drinking. He had a brief loan at Sao Paulo, where he showed glimpses of his glorious form, but then return to Inter, where his poor form continued

Adriano scored only 14 goals for Inter in the next three seasons, which was obviously not good enough for Inter. Murinho rightfully sold Adriano to  Flamengo in 2009, a place where he could jump start his career by his own admission!

He did have a fine season at Flamengo, where his 19 goals helped the club to the league title, but it didn’t last. Roma signed Adriano, after the season finished.

Adriano hasn’t played a regular season for 6 years!

Adriano had a torrid time at Roma, making only 8 appearance for the club. Club terminated Adriano’s contract after 7 months!

Adriano made just 12 official appearances, since his contract was terminated with Roma. Adriano has played for Corinthians, Atlético Paranaense, and Miami United, since Roma. That’s basically two appearances a year, a comical notion for a professional football player.

A fourth tier club, Miami United is the latest club for which Adriano is supposedly still playing. Adriano still hasn’t played a match for his “new”club. This probably means that his Miami adventure has also ended (prematurely).

There were reports that Adriano is now living in favelas. However, media rejected this, as mere visit.

Adriano supposedly playing in 4th tier of USA football!

In any case, Adriano Leite Ribeiro has achieved a fall of epic proportions. From stardom of Seria A to unknown forth tier league in America. From Brazil striker that scored 27 goals in 48 appearances to a punch line joke!

Its hard to blame Adriano entirely, given his mental problems. He is a classical example of a player that needed a special help (psychiatrist), but was left alone instead.

Who knows, Adriano Leite Ribeiro might still be playing at the top level, if he would get the necessary help. As it stands, Adriano is waiting to end his footballing career in anonymity. A career that promised so much, but fizzled out like a bad dream.