By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Former Seleção striker Adriano resigned from Flamengo yesterday after failing to return to match fitness. The man known as O Imperador had rejoined the Rubro-Negro in August for a third spell but bid goodbye without even entering the field of play.
Having asked for time off over the weekend, the athlete was spotted in a Barra nightclub, seemingly inebriated for the second time in a matter of weeks. With Flamengo almost certain to fire the player, Adriano jumped the bullet and offered his resignation.
At a press conference he explained: “It was a wise decision to not mess up my group and Flamengo. I decided to get away to solve this part personal and whatnot. I thank the fans who supported me. I will not stop playing. Next year I will have more space for my recovery, a pre-season to prepare myself better.”
Flamengo director of football Zinho, a personal friend of Adriano, lamented the fact the player failed to return to the type of form that six years ago saw him as one of the top players on the planet.
However battles against alcohol dependence have taken their toll on the striker, who must first recover his frame of mind before even considering kicking a ball again.
Flamengo had the right to rescind his contract after three unjustified absences. It took five for the partnership to break and now the player may consider rehabilitation in between now and the turn of the year.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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