Brazil and Inter Milan striker Adriano is to take a break from football and “rethink his career”.

“I’ve lost the happiness of playing,” he told reporters on Thursday. “I wouldn’t like to go back to Italy, I want to live in peace here in Brazil.”

Adriano, 27, said he could not say how long he would stay away from the game.

“I don’t know if I’m going to stay for one, two or three months without playing,” said the former Flamengo star. “I’m going to rethink my career.”

He said his agent, Gilmar Rinaldi, would be in contact with Inter next week and said he was aware his decision could cost him financially.

“Gilmar is going to Italy to ask for some time for me and it is fair that I am given no money,” he said.

Adriano, whose contract with Inter runs until June 2010, also denied media reports of possible illness or addiction problems.

“I am not sick, alcoholic or a drug user,” he said. “Everything I did was well thought out. I talked to my family, my friends and my agent, and I am doing this with my happiness in mind.

“I have nothing against Inter, I just did not like living in Italy. I felt pressured. A lot of people will not understand. It is a bad situation, not easy at all, but it is a choice.”

Asked whether he could appear with a Brazilian club, Adriano said the only possibility would be Flamengo.

“If I play in Brazil, it will be for Flamengo. Otherwise, my grandmother would kill me,” he joked.

Adriano failed to return to Italy after last week’s World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Peru, in which he was an unused substitute.

On Monday, his agent said he had stayed in Brazil because of a private matter. Since then, Brazilian media has been full of speculation over what had happened to him.

The forward has struggled with fitness and alcohol problems since the 2006 World Cup, showing only flashes of the form that made him one of the world’s most feared strikers.

Source: BBC