Former Brazil international Adriano played his first game for almost two years with a late substitute appearance for Atletico Paranaense on Thursday.
The former Inter striker last played a professional game on March 4 2012 for Corinthians, his career going on to take a downward turn after the 31-year-old was beset by a combination of drinking and weight issues.
Adriano, who was top scorer at the Copa America in 2004 and at the FIFA Confederations Cup a year later, came on in the 86th minute for a brief appearance as Paranaense defeated Bolivia's The Strongest 1-0 in the Copa Libertadores.
And the four-time Italian Serie A winner was thrilled to finally get back out on the pitch, having failed to make an appearance after being signed by Flamengo in 2012.
"I've been battling every day to reach my target," he told reporters.
"I've gone through so many things in my life and taking part in an important competition such as the Libertardores makes me happy and emotional."