MILANO - 19 years. It's not an anniversary one would normally celebrate, but it’s always worth taking another look back at that summer night, 14 August 2001. Real Madrid were hosting Inter in the Santiago Bernabéu Trophy, and the home fans treated it as much more than a summer friendly tournament: this match had all the hallmarks of a competitive cup match. It was absolute madness in the stadium that night. An extraordinary setting, and an iconic breakout moment for a very special player. That evening, Adriano Leite Ribeiro, who had been scoring goals in bunches in Brazil, made a dramatic entrance into European football. He didn't hesitate to show off his talent. Entering the fray in the second half wearing the number 14 shirt, he was quick to show off his dribbling skills, and raced around the pitch, with no one able to catch him. And then he hit one of the most powerful free-kicks in the history of the beautiful game, beating Iker Casillas to secure a 2-1 victory for the Nerazzurri, and silencing the entire stadium in the process.
Adriano looked back on that magical night in a letter published on Inter’s website a few weeks ago: “On 14 August 2001, I entered the fray at the Bernabeu. I was playing for Inter, and I was facing Real. That in itself was more than enough for me. But then I got out onto the pitch. I wasn’t thinking about anything, it was just like I was playing on that dusty pitch in Vila Cruzeiro. I was dribbling around, looking to nutmeg people. Everything went my way. I got a free kick, and on the sidelines they were calling for me to have a shot. Remember that left-footed shot I’d always worked on at home and out on the streets, that drove my mum crazy? That’s what I introduced to the world with that free kick, and they said that the shot reached 170 kilometres an hour!” (read his complete letter to Inter here.)
Today, 14 August 2020, we're celebrating Adriano's remarkable performance with a new episode of "10 Number 10s" on Inter Podcast! After an in-depth look at the talent of Lautaro Martinez, Ronaldo, and Lennart Skoglund, Dennis Bergkamp and Evaristo Beccalossi, today we're ready to look back at the accomplishments of another Inter Number 10, Adriano.