When Adriano Nearly Broke The Net Against Real Madrid In 2001

At the peak of his powers, Adriano Leite Ribeiro was one of the best strikers in world football.

The fact that former teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic called him the most talented he's ever played with, speaks volumes about the destructive power and presence of this incredible force of nature.

"I played with players that I saw was a talent. But the one I felt could do it longer was, and he didn't do it, was Adriano," Ibrahimovic said during an exclusive interview with SPORTbible.

"When I came to Inter Milan, the first thing I said to the president was that I demand to play with him because he is the player I want to play with. He was an animal. He could shoot from every angle.

"Nobody could take the ball from him." Zlatan said.

Now you've got an idea of how brilliant Adriano was during his time with Inter, we'll delve into this incredible free-kick against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

Back in August 2001, Inter played Madrid in a friendly and the powerful Adriano produced one of the most deadliest shots we've ever seen, arrowing a free-kick into the top left corner.

Sit back, relax and witness a truly unbelievable strike. How did he hit this so hard?!

It's no surprise that he had 99 shot power on PES 6 back in the day.

The well-travelled frontman initially rose to prominence in his native Brazil, tearing shit up for Flamengo before sealing a move to Serie A giants Inter Milan. Though it was his stint with Parma that made people take notice of his undeniable talent.

23 goals in just 37 appearances saw him return to the San Siro, where he proved himself as one of the most lethal marksman in the game.

The Brazilian, who boasts a tidy goalscoring record of 27 goals in 48 appearances for Brazil, was insanely talented but constant off the field problems and his unhealthy lifestyle culminated in his huge fall from grace.

Image: PA
Image: PA

After the tragic death of his father, he turned to drugs and alcohol and the regular partying ultimately took its toll on Adriano.

"Only I know how much I suffered," Adriano said to R7 in Brazil. "The death of my father left a huge hole. I felt alone and I isolated myself when he died. I was sad and depressed in Italy, and that was when I started to drink.

He later turned out for Sao Paulo, boyhood club Flamengo, Roma, Corinthians, Atlético Paranaense and Miami United, his most recent club in 2016, and never truly reached the heights he was capable of reaching.

In July 2016, six years after his last appearance for Brazil against Ukraine in 2010, reports broke that Adriano had reportedly become dependent 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.

He had also been spotted holding rifles with gang members, while posing using the Red Command's hand signals.

Thankfully, going off his recent Instagram activity, the 37-year old appears to be doing a lot better.

Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He's interviewed some huge names in the world of sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport, but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.

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