Adriano Leite Ribeiro: Once the beast of football, now living in ruins


For those of you who are unable to remember this great Brazilian dude, here are a few videos to remind you who he was.





Adriano Leite Ribeiro  was born on February 17, 1982 in the city of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil’s capital of nightlife, The Carnivale and the Samba). He is commonly known as Adriano and is currently plying his trade at American 4th division club Miami United. A talented stiker he is, but his playing career has often been marked by inconsistency, lack of fitness, weight gain and addiction to drugs. Despite the problems His main titles are four Scudetti for Inter Milan, a Brasileirao for Flamengo and for the Brazilian national team, a FIFA Confederations Cup and a Copa America title each. During his time in Italy, he earned the nickname L’Imperatore (the Emperor).

Adriano began his career with Flamengo, he made it to the professional team from the youth setup. From 2000-01, he made 24 appearances for Flamengo and scored 10 goals. He then moved to Inter Milan where he scored one goal in eight appearances, meaning it was not much of a good spell and was later loaned out to Fiorentina for the remainder of 2002 where he scored 6 goals in 18 appearances. He then joined A.C Parma in 2002 for 8.8 million Euros and went on to form one of the best striker duos in the country with then Romania International Adrian Mutu, scoring 23 goals in 37 appearances over a span of two years (missing the month of November 2003 due to injury).


Adriano during his time at Parma

In 2004, Adriano returned to the San Siro side on a 4.5 year deal, worth 23.4 million Euros and scored 15 goals in 16 appearances for the club in 2004-05 season. From July 11, 2004 through June 25, 2005, Adriano was in peak form scoring an impressive total of 40 goals in both domestic and international competitions. In September 2005, Inter Milan rewarded him for his efforts with an improved contract running until June 30, 2010.

However, despite the new contract and form he was out of form and fitness. his constant late partying had put a toll on his fitness and he was benched many times. Then Brazil coach Dunga did not call him for the friendly against Ecuador in October 2006 because of his fitness issues and for much of the 2006-07 season, he was subject of controversy when he was constantly spotted at nightclubs. On February 18, 2007, Adriano skipped a team practice with Inter Milan following the lengthy effects of a birthday celebration the night earlier.

In 2008, for a lengthy unpaid leave Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti sent Adriano to Brazil at FC Sao Paulo’s training center so he can regain back his fitness. that later turned into a loan spell. West Ham United and Manchester City were interested in signing him but his lack of fitness following his father’s death and weight gain forced the clubs to move away from him. Massimo Moratti stated that after the loan spell, he would like Adriano to be back at the club in better shape.

Adriano-Leite-Ribeiro (3)

Adriano during his time at FC Sao Paulo.

Inter finalized a deal on December 19th, 2007 to loan Adriano to São Paulo for the remainder of the 2007–08 season in order to allow him to compete in the 2008 Copa Libertadores. São Paulo fans were soon seen standing in long lines to buy his new number 10 jersey at the team’s official merchandise retailer after Adriano was introduced and his shirt was unveiled at a team press conference. Adriano celebrated his competitive debut with São Paulo by scoring both goals in their 2–1 victory over Guaratingueta on the opening day of the 2008 Paulista Tournament. He was sent off after headbutting Santos fullback Domingos on February 10, 2008, and was suspended for two matches after initially risking a suspension of eighteen months.He was fined by São Paulo on February 29 for arriving 30 minutes late for training, then leaving early and exchanging words with a photographer. According to team sporting director Marco Aurélio Cunha, Adriano “left the training ground because he wanted to. The team does not miss him. If he is not happy at São Paulo, he is free to go.”

Adriano was a regular goalscorer in the early stages of the 2008-9 Serie A campaign, reaching a combined total of 100 domestic goals in the Italian Serie A and the Brazilian Serie A. On 22 October 2008, Adriano scored the winner in a 1–0 win over Anorthosis Famagusta, and, with this goal, Adriano scored his 18th Champions League goal, and 70th for the club. In December, Inter Milan allowed him special dispensation to return to Brazil over the winter break earlier than planned. Inter confirmed on April 4 that Adriano had not returned from international duty with Brazil and had signed no contract with the club. On April 24, Adriano finally rescinded his contract with Inter Milan.


Adriano signed a one-year contract with Flamengo on May 6, 2009, the club with which he started his career. On his debut after returning to Flamengo, played on May 31, 2009, he scored a goal against Atletico Paranaense. On June 21, 2009, he scored his first hat-trick for Flamengo in the 4–0 win over Internacional in the Brazilian Série A.,his performances would be instrumental to lead Flamengo to their first Brazilian Serie A title since 1992.

On 31 January 2010, Adriano scored his second hat-trick since his return, this time in a 5–3 comeback win in the Rio de Janeiro (Fla-Flu) derby against city rivals Fluminense in the 2010 Rio de Janeiro State League.

AS Roma v CFR Cluj - UEFA Champions League

ROME – SEPTEMBER 28: Adriano of AS Roma in action during the UEFA Champions League group E match between AS Roma and CFR Cluj at Stadio Olimpico on September 28, 2010 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

On 8 June 2010, Italian Serie A side A.S Roma announced Adriano’s signing effective July 1st, 2010 with a salary worth 5 million Euros.He was then presented to the press with the no. 8 shirt. However, Roma terminated the contract on March 8, 2011, after seven months in the Italian capital.

On 25th March 2011, he signed with Corinthians on a year long deal. However, Adriano ruptured his Achilles tendon on 19th April, the same year while he was training & After the surgery he spent six months recovering. After recovering, he played his first game for Corinthians on October 9, 2011, when his club beat Atletico Goaniense 3-0. His first goal for Corinthians came on October 20 in the home game versus Atletico Mineiro, and was the winning goal that made the game 2-1 and gave Corinthians a two-point lead in the Championship with only two games remaining. He however, was released on march 12, 2012 after his irregular appearances and lack of interest.


Adriano was a good footballer, only to now end up living in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. He was once earning 80,000 pounds per week in the prime of his career but these days, the 34-year-old is without a club and living among gun-wielding gangs in Rio.


A gang member of the Red Command gives Adriano a good shave.

Forever remembered as a absolute fire cracker on Pro Evolution Soccer, Adriano was once regarded as one of the top strikers in world football but six years after his last appearance for Brazil against Ukraine in 2010, things are very, very different.


Adriano making hand signals of Red Command while attending a party.

Adriano reportedly depends on a deadly gang known as the Red Command, who have been part of Rio’s long-running gang war, for protection in order to live in the slum, according to Brazilian lawyers. Also, many more incidents have sparked controversy in Adriano’s life. He was arrested on charges relating to drug trafficking and after a night out clubbing with friends, a woman was shot in his car. In November 2014, a judge in Rio de Janeiro cleared Adriano of charges related to drug trafficking citing a lack of evidence. There are rumors that he is searching for  a club, though some images show him training for American 4th division side Miami United.


Adriano training at the facilities of FC Sao Paulo


Adriano, when he was weight loss training


Adriano, before his release by Corinthians.


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