Adriano goal a small consolation for Atletico Paranaense in Libertadores
He was once one of the most feared strikers in world football; terrorising defences at club and international level with brute force and clinical finishing. But until last night, Adriano had not scored a competitive goal in 774 days.
Having been out of the game for a long hiatus, the former Inter Milan forward has started again with Atletico Paranaense in what would likely be a final go at professionalism and netted a consolation goal last night in the Copa Libertadores defeat to The Strongest, of Bolivia.
The 2-1 reverse dumped Atletico out of the tournament in embarrassing fashion but a small personal match was won by the man with 27 Selecao goals to his credit. Adriano told reporters as much after the full time whistle: "I'm sorry for not getting to the next phase."
"It was an important goal for me and it's no excuse, but there is a difference in altitude that was critical to the outcome."
Prior to last night's loss, Adriano had not found the onion bag in over two years, last troubling the scorers in a 2012 Copa do Brasil game for Corinthians against Botafogo.