Saturday, December 22, 2007

Adriano Joins Sao Paulo on Loan

Troubled Inter Milan striker Adriano is to join Sao Paulo on a six-month loan, the Brazilian champion said on Wednedsay.

"(Sao Paulo) concluded with Inter Milan the loan of striker Adriano until June 30, 2008," the club said on its website (

The 25-year-old Brazilian, once the most feared striker in Serie A, has hardly featured for Inter in the last two seasons after battling fitness and reported alcohol problems.

The move came one month after the powerhouse striker began a fitness and psychological recovery program at Sao Paulo's training center.

He is the second big name to return to South American soccer looking to revive his career in the last month after Argentina's Boca Juniors re-signed Juan Roman Riquelme from Villarreal.

"I'm very happy with this deal," Adriano was quoted as saying. "Since my first day at the club, everyone has treated me very well.

"It will be an honor to win titles for this club. I'm going to work very hard for this and to return to the Brazil team."

Adriano has played only one international since his much-criticized performance at the 2006 World Cup. Previously, he was regarded as having a safe place in the national side along with Robinho and Kaka.

Adriano was linked with a move away in the European close season but refused to go out on loan despite interest from former club Parma and Premier League West Ham United.

If all goes well, Adriano will lead the Sao Paulo attack in the South American Libertadores Cup, the region's equivalent of the Champions League, which will be held in the first half of next year.

Sao Paulo has won the Brazilian championship for the last two years, was Libertadores winner in 2005 and runner-up last year.