Flamengo takes a chance on Adriano

Flamengo signed former Brazil star Adriano on a ”productivity contract” until the end of the year, meaning the striker will get paid based on the number of matches he plays.

Flamengo reached a deal with the 30-year-old Adriano on Tuesday, a day after he underwent a physical and club doctors said he was fully recovered from Achilles surgery on his left leg. He hasn’t played in six months, since being fired by Corinthians for allegedly not taking his recovery process seriously.

He first underwent surgery in 2011 but needed another surgical procedure earlier this year because the injury didn’t heal properly.

Adriano also had several off-the-field problems which affected his performance in his recent clubs, so Flamengo conditioned his return to the number of matches he will be able to play.

”I’ll honor this jersey by scoring many goals,” he said. ”You can count on me.”

Financial details were not immediately disclosed, but Adriano is expected to have a low monthly salary and will get paid extra depending on how often – and how well – he plays.

”I’m healed,” Adriano said. ”We just have to be a little patient now, but I think that in about a month I can be playing again. I’m extremely happy to be back with Flamengo, this is my home.”

The powerful striker was a starter for Brazil at the 2006 World Cup, when the national team was eliminated in the tournament’s quarterfinals. Adriano was touted to make the team in 2010 in South Africa but was not included in the final squad.

It is the third time Adriano will play for Flamengo. He was one of the team’s top players when it won the Brazilian league title in 2009. The player was the competition’s leading scorer that year.

Adriano began with Flamengo’s youth squads and played briefly with the senior squad before transferring to Inter Milan in 2001. He played on loans with Fiorentina and Parma before returning to Brazil in 2009, saying he was not happy in Italy and wanted to be closer to his friends. He initially joined Sao Paulo, then reached the deal with Flamengo to help the club win its sixth national title.

Despite his good performances, he missed several practice sessions with Flamengo, prompting a team director to publicly say that the player had a drinking problem.

Adriano returned to Europe in 2010, joining AS Roma, but played sparingly and moved back to Brazil in 2011 to play for Corinthians. He ruptured his Achilles tendon in his first few days with the club and was visibly out of shape when he tried to return to action. At one point, Corinthians ordered Adriano to stay at the team’s headquarters and stick to a strict diet to try to regain his best form.

Adriano made headlines off the field for problems that included his involvement in a minor car accident, a public altercation with a girlfriend and a police investigation for alleged ties to drug lords in the shantytowns where he grew up – although he was never charged. More recently, a woman riding in Adriano’s car accused the player of shooting her in the hand. She later retracted her claim, saying the weapon went off accidentally while she was holding it.

Adriano has 46 goals in his total of 94 matches with Flamengo.