Adriano once had the world at his feet as one of football’s most exciting talents, the heir apparent to Ronaldo Nazario and Brazil’s brightest emerging star.
He never quite hit the heights expected following his emergence as a global star, a centre-forward who combined unstoppable pace and power with a thunderous left foot which has retained his status as a cult figure for some.
Adriano, nicknamed L’Imperatore – The Emperor – by the Italian public, shot to prominence with a prolific period at Parma, earning a big-money move to Inter Milan where he quickly displayed his devastating talents.
The forward plundered 74 goals in 177 appearances for Inter Milan, whilst he thrived on the international stage with 27 goals in 48 caps for Brazil, starring during his nation’s Copa America success in 2004.
At that time there appeared no defender capable of stopping a forward destined to be the world’s best, but off-the-field issues and inconsistency plagued his latter career with his reign as a superstar all too brief.
Inter fans have fond memories of a player whose potential once seemed infinite, Adriano’s spectacular shooting often lighting up the San Siro during a memorable period for the Nerazzurri.