Forewarning: Those of you who read my posts only for fun and banter may be disappointed with this post.
Now that doesn’t preclude the fact that I may be unable to resist some pot-shots. What it means that as I sit down to write about the potential arrival of the Brazilian Emperor to the Portuguese beaches of India, I don’t feel particularly humorous.
Why? Well, Adriano’s story is an incredibly sad one. His is a veritable Greek tragedy of modern times. It involves everything including fantastic fame, loss of loved ones, debilitating depression, and a meteoric descent into hell.
Whether Adriano is now trying to engineer a phoenix rise from the ashes or if this is going to just be an Indian chapter of his Greek tragedy, it deserves some respect. By considering Adriano to be a part of the FC Goa 2015 squad, Zico is doing what no other manager in world football would consider.
This includes all the ‘humanitarian’ type managers in the mould of Arsene Wenger, Guus Hiddink, Johan Cruyff, and possibly Joachim Low.
How Adriano’s Footballing Career Has Been a Greek Tragedy?
Adriano in his Pomp!
Adriano started out as a young player for Flamengo in Brazil. Flamengo is easily the most successful club in Brazilian football history and since Brazil is the home of world football, that’s quite a feat.
However, one year after breaking through to the first team squad, Adriano moved to Inter Milan in Italy and lit up Europe. First, Inter would loan Adriano to Parma where he would partner Adrian Mutu.
Remember Mutu, the guy who used to play Chelsea when they had just come into a lot of money? The guy who most people now remember for failing a drug test in a sensational manner?
I can’t help but think that the time Adriano spent with Mutu at Parma had some say in what he would do in his future but since hindsight is something of a temptress, what do I know.
Anyways, after scoring loads of goals for Parma with Mutu, Adriano would come back to Inter and score tons more. He scored 22 for Parma and would score 47 for Inter after his return.
Adriano was at the peak of his game at this time. He was scoring boatful of goal at club and international level. There was nothing that he touched that didn’t turn to goal’d (deliberate!).
He was considered to be one of the best strikers in the world at this time. It was at this point that Adriano’s life and career made a dramatic U-turn. It was at his point that his life would become a Greek tragedy.
You see, his father passed away. Adriano was known to be very close to his father and his loss struck him hard. He took up alcohol with a vengeance and, although it hasn’t been stated anywhere else, my gut tells me that he may have been on drugs too (refer to his time with Mutu).
Still, such was the talent of this beast of a striker that he kept his performances up for the next two years! Alcohol abuse takes time to show up in any case. The effects started showing up in 2005, when Adriano’s performances dipped drastically.
Adriano now lost his focus on football and started living a life of party and escapism. He was castigated for poor work ethic and dropped by one manager after another. Adriano was shipped off to Sao Paulo in Brazil where he head-butted a teammate.
He was brought back to Europe by Roma but let go with mutual consent after only five games. He would then join the Corinthians, Flamengo, and Atletico Paranaense in quick succession.
Adriano in his Plump!
Throughout this period, Adriano was gaining weight, partying even harder, and being investigated for his connections to drug cartels in Brazil. Even Adriano’s agent came out and said that he no longer cares about The Emperor’s football career and that he is worried about Adriano the man who is on a path to self-destruct.
The last anyone heard of Adriano was that he was being linked with Le Havre, a second division side in France. Adriano has effectively given us a master class instruction in how to go from being on top of the world to a forsaken blind alley in the corner of nowhere. If that is not a Greek tragedy, then I don’t know what is.
Zico and Adriano’s Personal Connection
Zico, however, seems to believe in Greek tragedies too because he is considering giving Adriano his very own cathartic experience. If none of you are pretentious literature students, then let me explain in simpler words.
There’s a chance that Zico will give Adriano a chance to resurrect his career as a member of the FC Goa 2015 Squad. In fact, it is almost certain that Adriano has received an offer from Zico to be a part of his FC Goa 2015 squad because Zico revealed them same himself on his Facebook page.
The Idol & The Pupil
Can you believe that? The legend Zico actually typing a status update for all of us lowly mortals? It’s almost like him kicking a football at me. Anyways, it’s something in this day and age that a man like Zico is handling his Facebook page himself. He deserves a standing ovation just for that.
Also, Adriano verified Zico’s status update by putting up one of his own where he stated that he spent the afternoon with Zico (his idol)!
What Can Adriano Bring To FC Goa 2015 Squad?
However, what will Adriano bring to the table of the FC Goa 2015 Squad!?
Adriano was a legend in the making before his life was derailed by an untimely death of a loved one. In his pomp, the man was a beast. He was powerful, strong, skilful, technical, and determined. He was so good that people started calling him The Emperor!
Adriano has a mean left foot, can dribble as profusely as a man on laxatives (think drool: sorry couldn’t help that one), and has oodles of creativity. He can head a ball like a rocker, hit a ball into utter and complete submission, score a freekick through the wall, and possibly give Michael Chopra a run for his money on the flabby side of things.
As you can see, the only problem with Adriano being a member of the FC Goa 2015 Squad will be his fitness. He has gained weight to a point where he looks like your local vegetable vendor who sits with his vest half raised and has the stamina of your college professor who gets tired after every lecture.
How Zico Is Behind Everything Wonderful About FC Goa
Zico, by the way, can be said to be the man behind the rise of the Brazilian club Flamengo. He led that club to the first and the greatest of its victories in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It’s no wonder that he has chosen to give another former Flamengo man in trouble a helping hand.
Zico has been handling recruitment for the FC Goa 2015 squad singlehandedly. The news is that Lucio has already been signed as FC Goa 2015 squad’s ISL marquee player. Supposedly, Zico is also targeting three other former Brazil internationals to be a part of his FC Goa 2015 Squad.
Adriano for FC Goa 2015 Squad!
So, if Adriano hasn’t burned off all his grey cells, he will accept this generous offer because he won’t get any other for the rest of his life.
This seems to me like one of those make or break moments in a person’s life. In a Greek tragedy, this point will be where the protagonist (Adriano) will make the choice between rejuvenating catharsis and eternal damnation for the rest of his life.
What choice Adriano makes is a mystery to the likes of us.
Still, I sincerely hope that he chooses catharsis, comes to India, and shows the world that life can put down a great footballer but it can never put him out! Come on The Emperor!
Disclaimer: I have never been an Adriano fan but I, like many of you, appreciate a talented footballer and absolutely love an underdog.