Inter support return claims Adriano

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The Independent Football

Adriano claims he has the backing of Internazionale after ending his brief sabbatical by joining Flamengo.

The 27-year-old Brazil striker had his Inter contract terminated last month after revealing he needed a break from football after losing his passion for the game.

However, he is now poised to return to action after agreeing a one-year contract with Brazilian giants Flamengo.

"When you are close to the people who love you and want the best for you, it comes soon," said Adriano when asked about his speedy recovery.

"I talked to the Inter president (Massimo Moratti) and he was happy for me. Nothing beats being back at Flamengo.

"I did not quit Inter because of the club, but the country. Inter are great and everybody loves me, but I made a choice in my life.

"I did it from the bottom of my heart and not for taking profit from that. I made a choice and it is Flamengo."

Meanwhile, AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has played down reports that the club could be about to cancel the contract of injury-hit defender Alessandro Nesta.

The 33-year-old centre-back has not featured for the Rossoneri at all this season, but Galliani insists that Nesta will be given every opportunity to get back on the field.

He said: "With are waiting for Alessandro and we will continue to wait.

"Milan don't intend to give up on him because he is a great champion. We still hope that he can return to the Rossoneri team.

"We wouldn't have achieved so much in the Champions League without him. He has been a crucial player for Milan and we hope he continues to be."

Elsewhere, Milan legend Paolo Maldini has turned down the chance of making one final appearance for the Italy national team.

The 40-year-old defender will call time on his remarkable career in the summer and had been offered the chance to feature for the Azzurri against Northern Ireland in early June.

However, he told the Gazzetta dello Sport: "No, I will not play a farewell game with the national team.

"I would like to thank the federation for expressing an interest, but I prefer to leave football with an official match, because I am not a fan of farewell games.

"I am living these last few games of my career in a calm way.

"I am preparing for my farewell from football without any regrets after almost 25 years in football. A different life awaits me."

At Napoli, striker Marcelo Zalayeta has apologised to the club for his recent off-field problems.

The 30-year-old Uruguayan had been banished by coach Roberto Dionadoni, but has now returned to the squad after saying sorry for his actions.

He told the Italian media: "I want to apologise to everyone - to the city, the club, to Roberto Donadoni, to my team-mates and the fans.

"What happened was my fault and only my fault. I misinterpreted the coach's words of encouragement during the game against Siena.

"I was angry because I had played terribly and I reacted badly. I am ready to accept any punishment the club inflicts.

"Roberto Donadoni spoke to me like a big brother yesterday and explained everything. I have nothing more to say."