FORMER Inter Milan striker Adriano is facing a fine and ban from the roads after allegedly refusing a breath test and being caught driving without a licence.
The ex-Brazilian international, whose career declined after battles with alcohol and depression, was ordered to stop at a police checkpoint in the early hours of Sunday morning in the Rio de Janeiro neighbourhood of Barra da Tijuca, according to local reports.
Adriano could be banned from driving after allegedly refusing a breath test
The former Inter Milan striker was dubbed the heir to Ronaldo’s throne in attack for BrazilCredit: AP:Associated Press
His car was retained by police until another person thought to be a friend arrived to drive him home, it is added.
Local reports say a refusal to take a breath test, which is considered a serious infraction under Brazil’s rules, carries a fine of nearly £500 and a 12-month ban from driving.
The fact the 39-year-old, who recently announced he was going on a health kick, was apparently already banned from driving could result in him receiving a tougher penalty including a further fine if convicted.
A police spokesman said of the incident involving Adriano, who started his career at Brazilian club Flamengo: “Ex-Flamengo player Adriano Leite Ribeiro was stopped in the early hours of Sunday in an avenue called Avenida Lucio Costa in Barra da Tijuca and refused to take a breath test.
“When the documents he was carrying were checked, police discovered his driving licence had been suspended.
“Adriano’s vehicle was intercepted and only freed after a motorist who was allowed to drive it arrived.”
The retired player, who posted a strange video showing him making grunting noises as he danced in the passenger seat of a moving car without a seatbelt late last week, has yet to make any comment on his social media.
Adriano, once touted as the heir to Ronaldo, looked a shadow of his former self as he showed off his pot belly and flaccid muscles during a recent break at a Brazilian holiday home he owns.
He has blamed his descent from his career peak on the death of his father Almir Leite Ribeiro who died just nine days after ‘the Emperor’ scored seven on the way to winning the Golden Boot during his country’s 2004 Copa America triumph.
The 48-cap Brazil man wrote in The Players’ Tribune: “After that day, my love for football was never the same. He loved the game, so I loved the game. It was that simple.
“It was my destiny. When I played football, I played for my family. When I scored, I scored for my family. So when my father died, football was never the same.
“I was across the ocean in Italy, away from my family, and I just couldn’t cope with it.
“I got so depressed, man. I started drinking a lot. I didn’t really want to train. It had nothing to do with Inter. I just wanted to go home.
“To be honest with you, even though I scored a lot of goals in Serie A over those few years, and even though the fans really loved me, my joy was gone. It was my dad, you know? I couldn’t just flip a switch and feel like myself again.”
Adriano’s bizarre career took another twist in December 2011 when a woman was shot inside his car.
Initial reports said the wounded woman told police the now-retired footballer had accidentally fired his bodyguard’s gun while showing off.
Police subsequently said she had admitted shooting herself after ‘making a mistake and correcting her false account’.
Adriano, who retired in May 2016, was investigated in 2014 over alleged links to a Rio de Janeiro drug lord he was said to have purchased a motorbike for but the case never went to trial.
He was involved in a bonkers row earlier this month with a luxury hotel in Barra da Tijuca where he spent almost a year living.
Adriano accused hotel chiefs on Instagram of treating him badly when he tried to return recently for another stay but staff at the Grand Hyatt Rio put it down to ‘misunderstanding’ and said the problem had been resolved.
The retired footballer subsequently responded with another Instagram stories message saying a solution had been found and he was always ‘treated well’ at his favourite hotel.
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