The decision to leave Ronaldo out of the Brazil squad had many observers wondering how it would impact on their chances of lifting the FIFA Confederations Cup Germany 2005. The answer arrived after 40 minutes of their first game against Greece when a brute of a drive put the Seleção on their way in the tournament which will climax with them facing either Argentina or Mexico in Wednesday's final.
That goal came courtesy of Adriano, who possesses similar power to the Real Madrid man and is building such a reputation at this tournament that Ronaldo might be wondering whether he will win the national team's jersey back next season.
Today, the Inter Milan forward struck the game's first and winning goals and also won the penalty for Brazil's other goal in their 3-2 win. It was a supreme all-round contribution and it earned him the FIFA Technical Study Group vote as Anheuser Busch Man of the Match.
TSG member Andy Roxburgh said: "One of the guidelines for this award is that the player concerned has to make the difference in the game and that certainly applies to Adriano. Scoring twice and making the other goal is as good as it gets in terms of 'making the difference'.
"But there were other valuable aspects to Adriano's game. He had some special moments in the second half when he showed absolutely brilliant control and lost his markers. His first goal from the free-kick took a deflection but was still hit with great power. His second was well-worked but he still had a lot to do to finish it off.
"It's an interesting exercise to compare him to Ronaldo. They are different players in as much as Adriano is so obviously left-footed while Ronaldo favours his right. Ronaldo's biggest asset is his pace and particular the change of pace that leaves defenders for dead.
"In many ways Adriano is more of an all-round striker. He's strong in the air and is good at setting the play up with little flicks. Ronaldo has quick feet and is brilliant on through-passes. Adriano on the other hand can play with his back to the defence, facing his own team. Ronaldo can be viewed as a soloist and while Adriano has soloist magic in him he offers much more than that to Brazil.
"He's naturally left-footed but that's not a problem if you are as well-balanced as him. Look at the way he came in off the right flank to win the penalty. He could have been a right winger the way he took on Robert Huth. His balance is such that defenders know he can go past you either side."