Adriano delight at Inter return
© AFP

Adriano has revealed his delight at pulling on the Inter Milan shirt again after a year in which alcoholism and depression threatened to derail his career. The Brazil striker played at the head of a three-pronged attack in the first half of Inter's 1-0 friendly victory over Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal on Thursday as coach Jose Mourinho remained loyal to the system he favoured at Chelsea.

It was the 26-year-old's first assignment for Inter since October last year. In November, he was sent on loan to Sao Paulo in his homeland in a bid to rediscover his shape and form. It was a successful move as he scored 16 goals in 25 matches.

"I've rediscovered my best condition in little time," he told Inter's official website. "I feel good and I'm delighted to be back in the team. I'll try to come back even stronger than before.

"It's great to play with three forwards because there's more movement and my fellow forwards are closer together, that encourages you to play quicker which the coach has asked us to do. We will be able to score many goals this way. Ask Mourinho. He has a philosophy which is to play those who train with the most commitment and are in the best condition."

Adriano had become one of the most sought-after forwards in football after scoring 28 goals in 42 matches for Inter in the 2004/05 season, following loan spells at Fiorentina and Parma. But in the 2006/07 campaign he started to lose his way as injuries and a lack of discipline took their toll.

He was often photographed coming out of nightclubs in the early hours, calling into question his commitment to the cause. But if he can reproduce his form of old, Adriano's return will be like a new signing for Mourinho.