Zlatan makes an unexpected choice – Adriano.
“I mean I played with great champions. I played with players that already were ‘WOW’, I played with players that I saw were a talent and then became ‘WOW’, but the one I felt could do it longer, and he didn’t do it, was Adriano when I was at Inter.When I came to Inter, the first thing I said to the president was, I demanded him to stay because he was the player I wanted to play with. Because, the way he was, he was an animal.He could shoot from every angle, nobody could tackle him, nobody could take the ball, he was a pure animal. But it lasted such a short time.”
Everything went wrong for Adriano after the death of his father.Depression and drugs took over and his career fell apart.He hung up his boots and walked out of the game at the tender age of 27.
Zanetti joins Zlatan in describing Adriano’s descent into oblivion.
“But he came from the favelas, which frightened me because I saw how dangerous it was there, and when you become rich from nothing, everything becomes more insidious.When he had the phone call about the death of his father, we were in the room. He thumped the phone and began screaming in a way that one can’t imagine. It still shivers me today. From that day, Massimo Moratti and I treated him as a younger brother.He continued to play football, scoring and dedicating his goals to his father by pointing to the sky. But after that phone call, nothing was the same as before.
One night, Ivan Cordoba shared a room with him and told him he was a mix between Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic and asked him if he was aware that he would become the world’s best.
We weren’t able to pull him out of the tunnel of depression. That was my biggest defeat, I felt powerless.
I don’t know why, like I said, 50% of everything you do is the mental part. If you don’t have it in your head, it’s difficult. In his case, I enjoyed playing with him, playing against him, but it’s a shame that it lasted such a short time.”