The former Brazilian striker Adriano Leite Ribeiro, nicknamed the ‘Emperado’r, will be included in the Walk of Fame of the mythical stadium Maracana of Rio de Janeiro, as announced this Monday by the regional government.
Adriano, 39, has been chosen to capture his footprints in the Carioca temple, which since 2000 has immortalized the greatest footballers in history, as well as athletes from other disciplines, on its walk of fame.
The former Inter Milan player will be the 123rd athlete to be honored and join a select list that already includes the names of stars such as Pelé, Garrincha, Zagallo, Zico, Romário and more recent ones such as Ronaldinho Gaúcho, Ronaldo Nazário and Marta. “I’m super excited. It was always my dream. I would like my father to be here to see it,” Adriano said in statements to the ‘ge’ portal.
The former Brazilian international also shared some photos on his Instagram profile in which he is visibly excited after receiving the news that his name will be part of the Maracana Walk of Fame.
The Superintendency of Sports of Rio de Janeiro, the body that announced Adriano’s entry into the select group, affirmed on its social networks that the ceremony with the ‘Emperor’ will only take place when the public is allowed in the stadiums, today banned by the coronavirus pandemic.
The ex of the Inter and Flamengo suffered a terrible depression
The powerful striker, who became known worldwide at Inter Milan, admitted a few years ago that he suffered a depression after the death of his father in 2004, a loss that devastated him and marked the beginning of his decline as an elite footballer.
After several seasons in Italian football, he returned to Brazil, first to Sao Paulo, briefly; and then to Flamengo, with whom he resurfaced and won the 2009 Brazilian Championship, being the top scorer in the competition with 19 goals, 13 of them scored at the Maracana.
Then he went to Rome, where he hardly had any continuity. In 2011 he returned to Brazil to play for Corinthians with little success.
In 2014, after spending almost two years in white, the forward returned to football with the Brazilian Atlético Paranaense, from which he was fired. Later his hiring by French Havre was frustrated and his career ended with a fleeting stint at Miami United.
Adriano has threatened to return to the pitch several times, something that never came true.