Troubled Adriano to leave Corinthians

Adriano will leave Corinthians by mutual consent, the Brazilian championship club said on Monday, a move that could signal the end of the troubled striker's career.

The former Inter Milan and Brazil forward joined Corinthians last year after a disastrous, injury-ravaged stint at Serie A club AS Roma, but has been unable to resuscitate his once-glorious career in his homeland.

"At the end of Monday [March] 12th, the directors of the Sport Club Corinthians Paulista and the striker Adriano decided, in joint agreement, to end the work contract between the two sides, which was valid until next June," the club said in a statement on their website.

"As a consequence, [Adriano] is dispensed from showing up tomorrow with the rest of the line-up."

Adriano, who has been beset by drinking, depression and weight problems in recent years, arrived at Corinthians last March, pledging to regain his Brazil spot for the 2014 World Cup on home soil.

He suffered a serious Achilles injury within days of resuming training, however, and has managed just seven appearances for the Sao Paulo club, scoring two goals.

Adriano scored one of those off the bench against Atletico Mineiro to give Corinthians a win that all but sealed them the 2011 Brazilian league championship, but the club has grown impatient with the player's lack of fitness.

With reports of his weight ballooning to 220 pounds, Corinthians gave him several chances to get back into action, even confining him to a health club to try and help him lose weight.

The final straw for manager Tite came last week when he missed training and refused to let the club doctor weigh him.

His departure could bring a premature end to a mercurial career that began as a teenager with Flamengo in his home town of Rio de Janeiro and took him to Italy, where he earned the nickname 'The Emperor' for his rampaging performances and prolific scoring in the Serie A.

Adriano notched nearly 50 caps for Brazil, where he was top goal-scorer in both the 2004 Copa America and 2005 Confederations Cup, but disappointed at the 2006 World Cup and was used sparingly in subsequent years as he battled with personal issues.

"Myself, many other analysts and the entire Corinthians support had a real desire to see him do well," said Neto, a former Corinthians player and now a commentator.

"But the reality is that this guy is not professional. He never made even the slightest effort to work hard and secure his future. Only a madman would sign him now."