'I was drunk at training'

Former Brazilian powerhouse striker Adriano has lifted the lid on how and why he drifted into a life of booze and women, neglecting his football and becoming a shadow of the player he used to be.

Speaking to Brazilian magazine R7, the former Inter and Parma striker slumped into depression after the death of his father, and he saw only one way to keep the pain of the loss out - the bottle.

‘After the death of my dad I fell into depression that I could only cure with alcohol,’ he said. ‘I was happy when I drank, and I didn’t ever stop. I went out every night of the week and drank as much as I could: wine, whisky, beer... lots of beer.

‘I turned up every day drunk to training. I didn’t sleep for fear of arriving late, but in any case I would show up in a terrible state and then catch up on lost sleep in the club’s medical room, while journalists were told that I was having treatment for muscular problems.’

In the end Inter lost patience with the striker, who after three years of bad play and increasingly erratic behaviour, cut their losses and let him go back to Brazil. Adriano lost millions in the process.

‘People think that I must be mad to have left the million-euro contract that I had, but the truth is that isn’t enough money in the world that can compensate for familial bereavement. I rejected millions, but I bought myself happiness.’

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