Adriano signs for Flamengo

RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil striker Adriano, who last month agreed with Inter Milan to terminate his contract, has rejoined Flamengo, the club said on Wednesday. "Flamengo announces the signing of the forward Adriano," the Brazilian club where the striker began his career said in a statement, adding he would be officially presented on Thursday. The 27-year-old, on his day a brilliant striker who helped Brazil win the 2004 Copa America and the Confederations Cup the following year, had become disillusioned with football and life in Italy. Following a trip to Brazil at the end of March for World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Peru, in which he was an unused substitute, Adriano failed to return to Italy, telling Inter he needed a break. "I've lost the happiness of playing," Adriano told reporters in early April after retreating to the Vila Cruzeiro favela (shanty town) in Rio where he grew up. "I'm going to rethink my career." In mid-April, Inter and Adriano agreed to mutually cancel his contract with the Italian club. Flamengo, who have just won the regional Carioca (Rio de Janeiro state) championship, play their opening match of the Brazilian Championship against Cruzeiro on Sunday. Adriano, who has 29 goals in 47 appearances for Brazil, made his mark at international level when he was top scorer at the 2004 Copa America and the following year's Confederations Cup after replacing the unavailable Ronaldo in both tournaments. However, the powerful forward has struggled with fitness and alcohol problems since the 2006 World Cup, showing only flashes of the form that made him one of the world's most feared predators.