Former Brazil star Adriano has announced plans to return to football this winter.
The 35-year-old striker was once considered the future of Brazil football, with comparisons to countryman Ronaldo as he starred in the domestic league as a youngster before moving to Inter Milan.
However, personal tragedy combined with a life of excess contributed to a rapid decline for Adriano, and the man nicknamed ‘The Emperor’ ended up out of the game following a spell in 2016 with Miami United, a lower division club in the United States.
It appeared he was finished with the game after turning down an offer from his boyhood club of Flamengo but the 35-year-old striker announced he has changed his mind and will attempt a return.
“I’m preparing myself for a new project, I’ll be back on training in January. Without a club,” Adriano told TV Globo.
“Ever since I stopped, I have succeeded in maintaining my shape. I want this and I know I’ll have to persist.
“I want do this for myself, I want to show I can reach my limits so I can tell if I can play or not.
“I couldn’t complete my career as a whole. Something’s happened and pushed me away from football. I can say [my career] stopped at the half.”
Adriano scored 107 times in 241 appearances at the club level, which included stints at Flamengo, Inter, Parma, Sao Paulo, Roma, Corinthians, Atletico Paranaense and Miami United. He won four titles with Inter and two more in Brazil.
He also scored 29 goals in 50 appearances for Brazil, while winning a Copa America in 2004 and a Confederations Cup in 2005.