He ought to be back at Flamengo after 15 years in Europe’s elite and be considered as a legend like Ronaldinho.
Well guess what? Things haven’t gone to plan.
These days, Adriano lives in the slums of Rio and has to pay a local gang protection money to keep him safe.
The striker, 34, left Miami United in May and has since returned to the city of his birth.
And his current predicament is a far cry from his life in Italy, where he scored 44 goals in 103 games for Inter and earned £80,000 a week.
According to reports in Brazil, he pays protection money to the Red Command gang in the in Vila Cruzeiro slum, one of Rio’s most dangerous favelas.
Flavia Bueno, of the Cambridge University’s Brazilian Society, told The Star: “Rio can be brutal.
“It is a very expensive city, and so it is not surprising that he has returned to live in the favela.
“Around 24 kids die there everyday. There are drugs, guns and gangs.”
The Red Command have killed thousands using their trademark AK47s in the battle to control Rio’s drug trade.
Adriano himself was pictured holding the gun and posing with the Red Command’s signature hand gestures.
He was also once arrested on charges relating to drug trafficking and a woman was shot in his car after he had been out clubbing in Rio.
How has it come to this for Adriano – the superstar with a 99 power rating in Pro Evo?
Well he reportedly spent £18,000 a night on prostitutes, for starters.
But if you don’t feel a tinge of sadness at the predicament of one of football’s cult heroes then we’ve got some bad news.
Speaking to R7 of the incident, he revealed: “Only I know how much I suffered.
“The death of my father left a huge hole. I felt alone and I isolated myself when he died. I was sad and depressed in Italy, and that was when I started to drink.”
He departed Inter in 2009 after helping them to four consecutive Scudetto titles to rejoin Flamengo, but he never truly fulfilled his potential.
Adriano had the world at his feet during the mid-2000s, but sadly his potential was wasted due to off-the-field. This should serve as a lesson for young players today.