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Serie A heavyweights head-to-head

50-50 Challenge 2 days ago
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By ESPN Staff
Apr 15, 2008

Brazil recall on the cards for misfit Adriano

RIO DE JANEIRO, April 14 (Reuters) - Brazil coach Dunga is considering recalling Adriano after the striker's hot start to the year for Sao Paulo, where he is on loan from Inter Milan.

Adriano, beset by physical and reported alcohol problems in the past 18 months, has only played once for Brazil under Dunga, in last year's 2-0 friendly defeat by Portugal.

'He has evolved, he is improving a lot with Sao Paulo,' Dunga said in a television interview on Monday.

'He had a few problems at the start but he is getting back to being the Adriano that we all know.

'Without doubt, if he goes back to being the Adriano that he was before, he will have chances because he is a player with strength, power and he scores goals.'

Adriano, known as the 'Emperor,' has scored 14 goals for Sao Paulo this year, 11 in the Paulista championship and three in the Libertadores Cup.

He scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Palmeiras on Sunday, although the first caused controversy as it seemed to strike his hand on its way into the goal.

Adapting the phrase used by Diego Maradona after his infamous goal for Argentina against England at the 1986 World Cup, Adriano said: 'It was the hand of the Emperor.'

Adriano appears to have overcome a troubled start with the Brazilian champions.

After signing for Sao Paulo last December, he promised to turn over a new leaf, only to be photographed at a pop concert in Rio de Janeiro holding a beer can two days later.

A week later, he was involved in a car accident in Rio. Although nobody was injured, it happened in the early hours of the morning, raising more suspicions he had been out on the town.

In February he was fined 40 percent of a month's wages after arriving late for training, then leaving early and threatening a cameraman.