The figure of Adriano Leite Ribeiro was characterized throughout his professional career as a fearsome striker who destroyed defenses at will in every match he played. But when he was on top of the world, he hit rock bottom and the press started creating rumors about his escapes to the favela where he was born. Tired of those speeches, the striker decided to tell the whole truth once and for all.
“They said I disappeared. "Adriano ran from the millions," "Adriano is on drugs," "Adriano disappeared in the favela." Do you know how many times I read those titles? Here I am, smiling in front of you. Do you want to hear the truth? Well, bring a chair because Adriano has a story for everyone”, the Brazilian started in a talk with The Players Tribune, the platform that athletes choose to relate experiences.
The first memory in Adriano's mind was his childhood in the alleys of Rio de Janeiro: “The favelas. Even that word is wrong. Those who do not live there do not understand what it is about. It always has a negative, dark charge. It is always suffering and misery. Sometimes it is like that, it is complicated. But when I look back on my childhood it comes to mind how much fun I had. He was flying kites, spinning in the street, kicking the ball in the corridors”.
In addition, he compared his experience with the present day in which the little ones grow up. “That was a good childhood, not the tap, tap, tap on today's screens. I was surrounded by family, my people. I grew up in a community. He didn't suffer, he lived”, recalled the forward who managed to enter a soccer school thanks to the contribution of the entire family that lived in the favela at that time.
Adriano's cycle at Inter Milan
“In my debut in a friendly against Real Madrid there was a free kick on the edge of the area. Zanetti, Seedorf, Zambrotta and Matterazzi chatted around the ball. But I took over while they thought I would throw it to the third tray of the stadium. TUM! To the angle. I don't even know how I scored that goal. What I do assure you is that it was beautiful”, he described his first goal with the Inter shirt.
Excited, he recognized how important the influence of the Negroazzurri boss, Massimo Moratti, was. “They treated me like a true emperor in Italy. I was even able to bring my family. And when I say family, I mean about 44 people among cousins, uncles, aunts, friends. The whole neighborhood on top of the plane. Moratti, president at the time, was very good to me. He even rented a bus tour for my 44 family members! He was very concerned about my well-being”, highlighted Adriano.