MILAN - Lay-off and shoot. How difficult is it to score and free kick. Which has already been touched? They set you up and you are there, taking our run-up towards the ball. Meanwhile, the opponents try to close you down as quickly as they can. Timing, speed of execution and power. It’s a rather difficult recipe to carry out perfectly, a mix of ingredients that is not readily available for every player.
Adriano Leite Ribeiro presented himself to Inter fans with a free kick: the first was a brilliant effort at the Bernabeu, which has gone down in history.
Inter vs. Parma in May 2004 was no friendly. It was the penultimate matchday of Serie A and counted for a lot; Zaccheroni’s Inter were in search of points to qualify for the Champions League. The game was a deadlock. Then, the substitution: Kallon off, Adriano on. The Brazilian’s impact was decisive. Inter were award a free kick on the right. Emre laid it off and Adriano took the shot. It was a powerful, low, driven shot that beat Frey at his near post.
San Siro went ballistic. Adriano, though, had the wherewithal to accept the embrace of his teammates but limit his own celebrations. It was a welcome gesture for his former side, who he had left in the January of that hour to return to Inter. 1-0, three precious points, which were backed up the following week by a win in Empoli.
After full time of that game, there were hugs abound for Adriano: a cannon for a left foot but a heart of goal.