Unhappy Adriano takes a break from Inter

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The Independent Football

Adriano's future with Internazionale is in serious doubt after the Brazil striker announced plans to take a break from football.

Speaking at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, the 27-year-old forward claims he has 'lost the joy of playing' and is planning to step out of the limelight for an unspecified period of time.

Adriano's four-year spell at Inter has been dogged by disciplinary problems and the controversial striker has fallen out with coach Jose Mourinho on several occasions this season.

"I have stopped my career for a while because I have lost the joy of playing," he said.

"It could be one, two or three months. There is big pressure in Italy. I don't want to return to Italy. I want to live in peace here in Brazil.

"Everybody has the right to be happy in his job and I was unhappy in Italy. I will re-think my career. I am happy in Brazil alongside my friends and my family.

"I am not ill. I am not going to any hospital. I will try to restart, try to rediscover the joy of playing. The situation has arisen because I was not happy."

At AC Milan, technical director Leonardo has dismissed reports suggesting Carlo Ancelotti will be leaving the San Siro in the summer and taking charge of Chelsea.

Rumours about Ancelotti's impending move to Stamford Bridge have gathered pace in the last few days, but Leonardo is in no doubt that he will be staying with the Rossoneri, as long as they secure a place in next season's Champions League.

"I think everything is pretty much clear regarding Ancelotti," Leonardo told the club's official website.

"The coach has a contract here until 2010. The relationship with Milan is there for all to see. Everyone knows there is harmony between club and coach.

"Our plans are clear, we have to reach the Champions League."

Elsewhere, Lazio president Claudio Lotito will continue his tough disciplinary line with the club's players if they continue to perform badly on the pitch.

The Biancocelesti remain in mid-table but have endured a mixed campaign and are currently in a slump after losing their last three matches.

Lotito is unimpressed, telling Radio Kiss Kiss: "I am doing all I can to give this team a real shock.

"I hope it will give the players the will to fight and to show a good attitude.

"If we don't show this then the severe measures will continue. If the players' approach doesn't change, then neither will the club's."