Former Inter striker Adriano has revealed what had happened in the latter parts of his career and why he decided to leave Inter and return to Brazil.
Having soared through the ranks of Brazilian football,
was plucked from obscurity by the European superpower, quickly making a name for himself at the San Siro.
However, Adriano's career never truly hit the heights it had once promised as he fell into issues with drink and fitness in the latter years.
In an interview with The Players Tribune, the forward told how it was his father's death that led to him falling out of love with the game, while serious injury made him end his career.
“You know, sometimes I think I am one of the most misunderstood footballers on the planet. People don’t really understand what happened to me. They have the story all wrong. It’s very simple, honestly.
“In the span of nine days, I went from the happiest day of my life, to the worst day of my life. I went from Heaven to Hell. For real.”
On July 25, 2004, he scored when Brazil beat Argentina in the Copa America Final. On August 4, he lost his father because of a heart attack.
“I don’t really want to talk about it, but I will tell you that after that day, my love for football was never the same. He loved the game, so I loved the game. It was that simple. It was my destiny. When I played football, I played for my family. When I scored, I scored for my family. So when my father died, football was never the same.
“I was across the ocean in Italy, away from my family, and I just couldn’t cope with it. I got so depressed, man. I started drinking a lot. I didn’t really want to train. It had nothing to do with Inter. I just wanted to go home.
“Not all injuries are physical, you understand? When I popped my Achilles in 2011? Man, I knew that’s when it was over for me, physically. You can get surgery and rehabilitate it and try to carry on, but you will never be the same. My explosiveness was gone. My balance was gone. I still walk with a limp. I still have a hole in my ankle.
“It was the same thing when my father died. Except the scar was inside me. Brother, it’s simple. I have a hole in my ankle, and one in my soul.”