Compilation Shows Adriano Was Unplayable Between 2004 And 2006
Adriano might just go down as the most high-profile example of a top player who never realised his potential but this compilation serves as a reminder of what he could do with a ball.
Having scored 23 goals in just 37 appearances for Parma, Adriano returned to Inter Milan for a second spell and went on to score 42 goals for club and country from 11 July 2004 through to 29 June 2005.
This quote from Zlatan Ibrahimovic perfectly summarises just how good 'The Emperor' was in his pomp.
He told SPORTbible: "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...wow, 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."
Evidence of what Ibrahimovic said in that final piece of the quote comes in this video posted by BT Sport. It's nearly four minutes of Adriano justifying why Konami gave him 99 shot power back when he was one of the PES 6 cover stars.
The power was a key attribute for him but as we see in the following video, his touch, dribbling ability and link-up play was equally as sublime. He was an incredible talent.
Adriano boasts a tidy goalscoring record of 27 goals in 48 appearances for Brazil and ought to have been the heir to Ronaldo Nazario's throne.
But persistent off the field problems and his unhealthy lifestyle culminated in his huge fall from grace.
After the tragic death of his father, he turned to drugs and alcohol and the regular partying ultimately killed his career.
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"Only I know how much I suffered," Adriano told 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."
Inter icon, and former teammate of Adriano, Javier Zanetti told a heart-wrenching story of Adriano learning that his father had passed and how it affected him.
He told: Tutto Mercato: "When he had the phone call about the death of his father, we were in the room. He thumped the phone [back on the hook] and began screaming in a way that one can't imagine. It still shivers me today.
"From that day, Massimo Moratti and I treated him as a younger brother. He continued to play football, scoring and dedicating his goals to his father by pointing to the sky. But after that phone call, nothing was the same as before.
"We weren't able to pull him out of the tunnel of depression.
"That was my biggest defeat, I felt powerless."
Adriano went on to turn out for Sao Paulo, boyhood club Flamengo, Roma, Corinthians, Atlético Paranaense and Miami United, his most recent club in 2016.
Four years ago, there were worrying pictures suggesting he was part of a criminal gang back in his native but he seems to be doing alright judging by his recent Instagram activity.
The streets will never forget.