Sao Paulo, March 25 (IANS) Brazilian football giants Palmeiras have expressed their desire to sign troubled former Brazil international striker Adriano.
The 31-year-old, who has played just nine games in the past three years amid a series of injury and personal problems, was sacked by Flamengo last November in his latest failed comeback bid, reports Xinhua.
“There’s no need to speak about what he has gone through. He played at a high level at great clubs in Europe and won trophies. I have never worked with him and I don’t know him. But we know that if he commits himself, he is not just your average player. Who am I to not extend my hand to him?” Palmeiras coach Gilson Kleina said Sunday night.
Adriano’s Flamengo exit came eight months after he was dismissed by Corinthians for reportedly missing 67 physiotherapy sessions while recovering from an Achilles tendon injury. He has also battled weight problems and alleged alcohol abuse.
Kleina said he was confident Adriano could return to the form that made him one of Europe’s top strikers during spells with Inter Milan, Fiorentina and Parma.
“Everybody can recover. We all have personal problems but it’s a decision he has to make if he wants to get over them. The club needs to know how his head is and how he feels physically.”
Earlier, Palmeiras president Paulo Nobre confirmed Adriano had approached the club’s executive director Jose Carlos Brunoro about the possibility of joining the Sao Paulo outfit.
“Adriano is a great player. But if he really is interested he has to start training. He needs to take the first step,” Nobre said.
Palmeiras, who share the mantle of Brazil’s most successful club alongside Santos with eight top-flight titles, were last December relegated to second division for the second time.