By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Flamengo coach Dorival Júnior has commented for the first time on signing star striker Adriano, but has expressed concern over fans expectations’ that he would be playing within a month. The coach urged patience from the fans and underlined that Adriano was returning to the Rio football (soccer) club after a lengthy period out of action and that he required training.
“We should be clear that fans should not expect Adriano to decide [when to start] from one day to the next. He is still recovering and has a long way to go to get back in shape,” Júnior warned.
He added that when the time comes, the club would have to rethink its offense to work alongside fellow striker Vagner Love.
The 29-year-old Carioca’s carrier has been plagued with inconsistency, as well as alcohol abuse, over the past two years: a powerful striker, he transferred to Italy in 2010 to play for AS Roma, but never fully settled despite spending a good proportion of his career in the country.
The result was that Adriano terminated his three-year contract with the club after just seven months and returned to Brazil, where he was signed by São Paulo giants Corinthians; he was later released by the club after apparently lacking interest in the side.
Yet after so much success in 2009, including scoring nineteen goals in the 2009 Campeonato Brasileirão and helping Flamengo to their sixth national crown, his return to Brazilian football, and Rio in particular, has been sorely anticipated by fans who have dubbed the event “The Return of the Emperor.”
As for Adriano, he says he recognizes that this is his final chance to turn around his career.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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