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Adriano's highlights from 2004 to 2006 show just how special the man with 99 shot power was

Ryan Sidle

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Adriano's highlights from 2004 to 2006 show just how special the man with 99 shot power was

There are few players who combine cult status with the pure ability of a footballing god the way that Adriano did, and his highlights from 2004 to 2006 show why he's still talked about in such gleaming terms.

Very few players have the hold on us from such a short term at the top of their powers as former Inter Milan forward Adriano, whose career was blighted by injuries.

The Brazilian was one of the great players of his generation, even if his best didn't last as long as it should have done thanks to injuries and off the field problems.

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His famed shot power earned him a stat of 99 on Pro Evolution Soccer, and it's no surprise when you remember how hard he could hit a free kick.

But it wasn't just his shooting, the former Parma star had the touch, pace and poise to go with it, making him as dangerous a player as anyone.

Adriano scored 29 goals in 60 Serie A games from the start of the 2004/05 season to the end of the 2005/06 season, winning the Coppa Italia in the former and a double with the league in the latter.

The highlights video of his time at the San Siro during the peak two years of his career show just how incredible he was.

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The reverence that he is still held in, seven years after his retirement and far longer since he was anywhere close to his best, is shown by the fact he was given a spot on the Maracana Stadium Walk of Fame.

The man known as 'The Emperor' helped the national team win the Copa America in 2004, as well as the Confederations Cup a year later, winning the Golden Boot in the former and scoring 27 times in 48 games throughout his career for Brazil.

His off the field problems started with the sudden death of his father, which led to the now 41-year-old turning to alcoholism, he later described how tough it was to lose his father.

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"The death of my father left a huge void in me," he admitted to Brazilian magazine R7. "I was alone, sad and depressed in Italy and that's when I started drinking."

"I did not know how to hide it because I was drunk even at training," he said of the beer, wine, whiskey and vodka binges that took over his life.

"I was completely drunk. They took me to the infirmary to sleep and then the club told the press that I had muscular problems."

Adriano was also excellent for his country. Image: Alamy
Adriano was also excellent for his country. Image: Alamy
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During his career, the player who twice finished in the Ballon d'Or's top 10, was compared to a mix of fellow countryman Ronaldo and Inter teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The Swede has previously spoken to SPORTbible about playing alongside the Brazilian, saying, "I played with great champions. I played with players that were already...wow. I played with players that I saw were a talent and became

"But the one I felt could do it longer, and he didn't do it, was Adriano when I was at Inter. He could shoot from every angle, nobody could tackle him, nobody could take the ball, he was a pure animal."

High praise indeed for a player who usually only praises himself, that's the mark of how great Adriano was, even for a short time.

Featured Image Credit: BT Sport

Topics: Adriano, Inter Milan, Brazil

Ryan Sidle
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