Spartak’s forward Luiz Adriano visited SE’s editors’ office and spoke about his dream to return to the national team of Brazil, the specialness of Neymar and his cartoon name.
This player was born on April 12 in Brazilian city Porto Allegre. He started out in FC Internacional, where he stayed until 2007. After that he played for FC Shakhtyor (2007-2015), FC Milan (2015-2017), and FC Spartak (2017 – until present time).
As a member of Internacional he won the Club World Cup (2006). As a member of Shakhtyor he won the championship of Ukraine (2007/08, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14), the Cup of Ukraine (2007/08, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13), the Super Cup of Ukraine (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014) and the UEFA Cup (2008/09). As a member of Milan he won the Italian Super Cup (2016). As a member of Spartak he won the championship of Russia (2016/17) and the Super Cup of Russia (2017).
This player is the best hitman of the championship of Ukraine (2013/14) and the best hitman in the history of FC Shakhtyor.
He participated in 4 games of the national team of Brazil. Luiz came to our editors’ office with a new hairstyle — he got it the same day with a live broadcast in his Instagram account. This fashionable look will surely inspire the Brazilian player for new heroic deeds.
– Unfortunately, the connection was bad, I had to reconnect to broadcast it and the haircut took so long! — Adriano started. — I have many subscribers, I like to make them happy. The broadcasts are very popular: when one is over, the people start asking about the next one. This time it was a broadcast from the hair salon.
I PLAYED ON THE FIELDS LIKE THAT ONE IN KAZAN WHEN I WAS A CHILD.
– Why braids? You look like Allen Iverson!
– Well I’m younger after all! I just like diversity. Before that I had a Black power haircut, it’s like a chaotic afro, but I wanted some order, so now I have braids.
– You regularly post pictures of Russian winter in your Stories. It is too long this year, isn’t it?
– Oh, yes. To tell you the truth I’m already tired. I forgot the last time when it was hot in Russia.
– What word can you choose to describe the field in Kazan?
– I surely can’t think of any Russian words! I had to play on such fields when I was a kid: there was something like that on the streets of Porto Allegre. I was surprised that a match of the Russian Championship in Kazan was on such field.
– Can you compare Kazan’s field with Brazilian beaches?
– The beaches are better, trust me! I don’t want to scold the workers of the stadium, because I understand that they are doing their best, but the climate here is harsh, not like in Brazil. The weather gets in the way. The club can have a great infrastructure but a bad lawn.
– What was the most extreme game in your career?
– I remember the last games — against FC Rubin in Kazan and against FC Lokomotiv. The first one was extreme because of the freezing weather and the second one was hard because of the snow. The lawn was OK, but there was too much snow! Of course, I will remember playing in Kazan when it was 15 degrees below zero for a long time.
– You own a great fur coat. Is it your favorite thing to wear in Russia?
– Of course. What else can I wear in such a weather? When I posted the last photo wearing it, the temperature was 20 degrees below zero.
WHY KOMBAROV IS BETTER THAN MARCELO
– The national team of Brazil came to Moscow. Which Brazilian player from the Russian premier league would be able to strengthen it?
– I think it’s Fernando, who has been showing his best skills for a while.
– What about you?
– Returning to the national team is my dream. I work hard every day to achieve it. I can only be happy for the players of Spartak’s youth team. Training with such professionals is really a unique experience.
– If they invite you to join the national team during the World Cup…
– …Then I will do all I can to help Brazil win the trophy and the title of the best team of the world. Then I will be able to do something really crazy!
– Does the national team of Russia have any chances to defeat Brazil this Friday?
– Everything is possible with modern football. Yes, the national team of Brazil is the favorite, most experts bet on it and I can understand why. But Russia can make a surprise just like small teams do when they play against bigger teams. Well, the national team of Russia is a big team, though.
– What can Dmitry Kombarov do that Marcelo can’t?
– Huh, it’s a good question! They play on the same position but they are different players. Marcelo’s style is different: he’s more attack-oriented and keeps running forward in FC Real. Kombarov is better in defence.
– Wow! Also, Marcelo can’t play when it 15 degrees below zero.
– That’s right!
MOTIVATION — RETURNING TO THE NATIONAL TEAM
– Is Neymar on Messi’s level or is he a player who was advertised too much, as some fans think?
– Neymar is a phenomenal player. He has the same level with Messi and Ronaldo, but it’s hard to explain how Messi plays because he’s a unique football player.
–About phenomena. Whom did you look up to when you were only starting to play?
– I looked up to Ronaldo, they call him a phenomenal player too, and Romario as well.
– Is Neymar’s level close to their level?
– Without a doubt.
– What do you think about his behavior in real life?
– He’s OK. He is not arrogant and he speaks normally with everyone. He is a star only when he is on the field.
– When you came to Russia, many people criticized Spartak because of this transfer. They thought that Luiz Adriano was going to just finish his career here. Now you are one of the best, despite the cold, the tackles, the snow and so on. Here is a simple question: why? What motivation do you have?
– I understand why they said that. The experts had the full right to voice such opinions. Before I transferred to Russia I didn’t have any normal practice for a year and a half. However, I showed what I could do, when I was a member of Shakhtyor. I do the same with Spartak: I score goals, fight for the titles. This is my motivation: winning for Spartak, scoring goals, fighting for the titles. And — yes, my dream is to return to the national team of Brazil.
PROMES ON THE LEFT SIDE, WILLIAN ON THE RIGHT SIDE — THE ATTACK LINE WOULD BE MAGNIFICENT!
– Do you understand the defender of CSKA Mario Fernandez, who decided to play for the national team of Russia?
– If Mario feels happy playing for the national team of Russia — then why not? I am happy for him. Many Brazilian players joined the teams of other countries, too.
– You have already spent a year in Russia. Which one of our football players impressed you the most during this period?
– I think that Golovin stands out. I remember his great performance during the game against FC Lion. It is evident that this person makes a difference in CSKA.
– How can a player from the Russian championship get to the national team of Brazil? Do the coaches from your national team look at the RFPL?
– Everything is possible. Forwards need to score and defenders need to show effective skills in defence. If your team keeps winning, then you will get noticed. In such conditions you can receive an invitation to the national team of Brazil from the Russian championship.
– If you had an opportunity to invite to Spartak only one player from the national team of Brazil whom would you choose?
– I’d choose Willian from Chelsea. We miss a player on the right side. If Promes was on the left side and Willian on the right side, the attacks would be awesome!
– Why does Pedro Rocha show mediocre results on the side?
– I think that Rocha has already adapted in Russia. He plays in harmony with the team when he exits to the field. He was close to scoring in Kazan. It’s only about the coaches letting him play.
IT’S EASIER FOR LUCESCU TO WORK WITH YOUNG PLAYERS
– Why did you post a photo caricature where you are kissing your leg after you scored a goal?
– I do this for my daughter: her face is tattoed on my leg. She always asks me to score a goal, so this is how I thank her.
– Mircea Lucescu said that you and Fernando wanted to join FC Zenit, but he could not take you. Was there really a chance of you joining that club?
– Lucescu never called me to ask such a question. He probably made some comments for the press or talked with the management of Zenit about me. I never got any information about this.
– Who is the best coach — Lucescu or Carrera?
– They are different specialists. I worked with Lucescu more. He taught me some things about football and life — how to speak with the fans, how to live my life. I will continue to thank him in every my interview. I have been working with Massimo for a year and he also taught me a lot.
– Why did Lucescu fail with Zenit?
– Lucescu had a very young team in Shakhtyor, this is why Mircea taught everyone according to his philosophy. In Zenit, on the contrary, he worked with mature players, the stars. It was harder for him to put his principles into their heads.
– Why does Carrera criticize the referees very rarely, while according to everyone’s memories Lucescu kept complaining about them?
– It is hard to make any comments about it. I don’t know why Lucescu said that. Maybe he thought that the referees were incorrect during the games of his team. As for Carrera — I agree, he never discusses any referees.
I LIKE CLEAN FOOTBALL. I WON’T FALL IN THE PENALTY AREA WITHOUT A FOUL
– Is that right that in Brazil, when the teams only start exiting to the field, the fans start yelling ‘son of a bitch’ about the referee, even when the referee hasn’t even given a starting whistle?
– Yes, the fan community really has such a tradition. Well, this is the job of a referee, nothing can be done here!
– Do you like referees in Russia?
– I am really indifferent towards the men in black. I only get angry when they miss fouls that were made towards me. However, I have to say that if the referee saw the game like football players do, he would immediately lose control over the game.
– Like a great forward you have a real opportunity to cheat, to fall in the penalty area of the opponents, but you never do it. Are you a gentleman?
– I like clean football. I don’t fall without a reason. I am on the lawn only when the opponents really break the rules. It happens really often, by the way.
DZHIKIYA IS THE TOUGHEST ONE. THE THING ABOUT CHOCOLATES WAS JUST A JOKE
– Why do you think is the toughest defender in the RFPL?
– It is Dzhikiya.
– (Answers in Russian.) He is my friend. (Switches to Portuguese again.) He is a great player and a great teammate who managed to join the national team of Russia shortly after joining Spartak. It’s too bad that Georgy was badly injured this winter.
– How did you react on Dzhikiya’s famous tweet about chocolates?
– (Smiles.) It was a joke and nothing more. Georgy likes pranking everyone, not only Brazilian players. There is no scandal here.
– Which joke that Dzhikiya made was the cruelest, the one that made you want to take revenge?
– I don’t really remember any situations when he crossed the line. He always makes jokes and that’s it.
– We think of Brazilians as of magicians with great technique. Which Russian player shows best technique in your opinion?
– I think it is Golovin. He really stands out from the crowd in this aspect.
– Let’s return to the match between the national teams of Russia and Brazil: what would the score be if the hockey national teams met?
– It would be great to see such a match. I don’t even know though if Brazil has a national hockey team. I think that there is a chance that our country doesn’t have a hockey team at all.
– Are you interested in any winter sports? Maybe you tried your skills in biathlon, hockey, sledding?
– It is surely not my cup of tea. However, sometimes I watch hockey games when Russian TV channels broadcast them.
– Do you know anything about Ovechkin? This guy is like Neymar in hockey.
– I never heard about him, but I hope that I will be able to get acquainted with this guy.
– What do you think the score will be this Friday?
– Our team will win with a score of 2:0.
A CONFLICT WITH CARRERA WHEN THE SEASON BEGAN? THERE WASN’T ANYTHING LIKE THAT!
– Lokomotiv is five points ahead of Spartak. Were you upset because your team could not defeat ‘Loko’ during the first round this spring?
– The championship is not finished yet, so we’ll do our best to continue fighting for the title until the very end. Several teams who are behind us are also still in the race.
– What does Lokomotiv have that other teams don’t?
– I don’t want to say anything about our opponents, let me say something about Spartak. When the season began, we kept losing points and ending the games with unnecessary draws when we should have won. Meanwhile, Lokomotiv won their games, that was why they are ahead of us now.
– What happened within the team? They said that Carrera had some kind of conflict with the players.
– We had no conflicts with Massimo. We lost those points because we lacked concentration. I think you remember that we missed many goals after the 85th minute.
– How can you explain that the red-and-white team achieved its greatest victory in the Euro Cups by defeating Sevilla with a score of 5:1, but then they suffered bad defeat from Liverpool with a score of 0:7?
– The walls of our home stadium helped us during the match against the Spanish team. As for England — we didn’t build our defences right and we were not ready to oppose such a strong team as FC Liverpool.
– Can you call Coutinho a phenomenal player?
– Yes, without a doubt. He showed what he could do in Liverpool. This man totally deserved his transfer to Barselona.
DIMA WILL WIN A DUEL WITH SALAH
– Liverpool has a great player from Egypt this season, Mohamed Salah. The national team of Russia is going to meet him in their group during the World Cup. Can you give the defenders of our team a piece of advice?
– I can only give one advice — they have to prevent Salah from running fast. His speed is astonishing. If he starts running fast and enters the one-on-one confrontation with the keeper, it will be bad for the Russian team. He is one of the best players of the British championship. Salah is very strong now.
– Do you mean that the Russian team has no chances to progress to play-off?
– I think that there is a chance. Your team will play at home, the motivation will be great.
– Will Kombarov win a duel with Salah?
– Of course! I will root for two national teams during this World Cup – for Brazil and for Russia, since I have many friends from the Russian team.
– Brazil had a horrible match like Spartak had in Liverpool: they lost the semi-final of the World Cup against Germany with a score of 1:7. Please be honest: did it make you cry?
– I personally did not cry, but surely it was a very sad day for our football. The whole country was upset because of that loss. It was like a real mourning.
– Do you think that only winning the World Cup of 2018 can wash away this shame?
– I think so, yes. I hope that our team will win. They have to do it. The conditions are suitable for it.
– A while ago you said that you would not refuse to join the national team of Russia, if you had the opportunity.
– Playing for the national team of Brazil has always been my dream. But if I got an invitation from the national team of Russia, I would have agreed. It’s too late to think about it now. The coach who didn’t invite certain players to the team will not do it two months before the tournament starts. If I played for Russia, I think I would have made it to the starting line-up. Why not?
I NEVER SAID THAT I WANTED TO JOIN THE NATIONAL TEAM OF UKRAINE
– When you were a member of FC Shaktyor, before you were summoned to the national team of Brazil for the first time, you said you would be happy to join the national team of Ukraine. It did not happen back then. Why?
– It wasn’t like that in reality. One of the journalists asked me just like you did now if I wanted to play for the national team of Ukraine. I answered: ‘No problem’, but I never said anything about dreaming of joining the team of this country.
– The fans kept saying that they need to bow before Luiz Adriano and beg him to join the national team of Ukraine.
– I was flattered when I heard that. But in the end I didn’t have the chance to play for Ukrainian team.
– Some part of your soul must have been left in FC Shakhtyor. Do you worry about what’s happening to the club now?
– Too bad that Shakhtyor can’t play home matches at their own stadium. The environment at the stadium gave the team additional strength. I am following Shakhtyor and keeping in touch with some Brazilian players. I am still their fan. Despite the fact that the team does not play on their own field, they show great performance, even during the Champions League.
– You had a bad period in FC Milan. What helped you move on?
– I transferred to Milan having the same status as I had with Spartak — I joined the starting line-up. But the coach (Vincenzo Montella. – SE’s note) had his own vision. Despite that I continued doing my best during the training sessions. I’m very grateful to Massimo Carrera. He believed in me.
– You give it your all when you train and you give it your all when you play. Do all Brazilian players follow this principle as a rule?
– I think that everything depends on how everyone personally feels. I feel good when I give it my all during the training sessions. Some other players feel bad.
RETIRING IS RUSSIA DOES NOT LOOK LIKE A PROBLEM
– During your interview for SE you said that you were able to score 36 goals during one season together with Promes. It is too far for 36 at the moment.
– Why don’t we leave this number for now? We have already scored many goals (they both scored 27 goals: 12 by Luiz Adriano, and 15 by Promes. – SE’s note).
–Can you promise us that you two will score not less than 36 during the next season?
– I promise.
– Many people criticize Promes now. Do you think that it is time for Quincy to go to Europe?
– Promes is the one to decide what to do. As for the critique — yes, it’s not the best period for Quincy at the moment. However, I think that he always helps the team — he scores goals and performs assists. Nothing bad happened, it’s just a little downswing, all the players encounter it.
– Do you want to play in Europe or are you ready to stay in Russia?
– My current goal is winning as many titles with Spartak as I can. If I receive any offers, I will discuss it with my agent to make the best decision. I see no problem in retiring here, especially if the club and I will be happy with everything.
– Do you mean that it might not be Spartak?
– Well, to do something I need to receive an offer. If I receive any offers, I will discuss them with my agent and Spartak’s management, then we will be able to think of a way that will be suitable for everyone.
– Which Russian club would you avoid, even if they give you a perfect offer? Maybe it is CSKA or Zenit?
– I understand that the fans will not be happy about what I’m going to say, but I have a family to feed. This is why I would not refuse any Russian club, be it CSKA, Lokomotiv or Zenit. This is my job, my profession; I earn my bread by playing football. Only the fans can hate other clubs.
– Is Dynamo Kiev a normal option too?
– Imagine the situation: I’m with Shakhtyor and I receive an offer from Dynamo. I refuse and two months later Shakhtyor refuses me, so I lose my job. This is why I won’t say no to any clubs.
– Do you understand your fellow countryman Hulk, who went to China to get good money but to participate in the championship that is surely weaker than the Russian championship?
– You shouldn’t concentrate on Hulk in this situation. Who would have refused a contract worth several million? If they offered you such a sum, you would have surely agreed to work for any other company. Every person wants better quality of life.
– So, would you prefer not to win many trophies with Spartak, if you got a contract for several million?
– The story is the same here. I would not have refused the club at once. I would have discussed it with Spartak’s management, just like Hulk did with Zenit. I would not be willing to argue with the red-and-white club, since there is always a possibility to remain friends.
– Is that true that you received an offer from China when you were already with Spartak?
– Yes, I got an offer, but it only came to my agent, they never sent any offers to the club.
– So, you agreed to the personal contract, but didn’t send the club any transfer offers?
– The agent got this offer, so he was the one to tell the club. They discussed it after that.
– So was it Spartak that did not let you go?
– (Laughs.) The clubs could not come to an agreement!
– What if they offered you 50 million euro like Hulk? Would you go to China?
– I would have accepted such an offer, but in this situation I would have chosen to leave Spartak in a friendly way. I want the fans to greet me in the same warm way as they did when I just arrived.
– Have you received any offers this winter other than the offer from China?
GAMES AGAINST CSKA AND ZENIT ARE BETTER THAN AGAINST ‘LOKO’
– Which Russian team became your first rival?
– Two main derbies of the country are ‘Spartak — CSKA’ and ‘Spartak — Zenit’. They are more exciting than ‘Spartak — Lokomotiv’.
– Do you have any friends from other Russian teams, not from Spartak?
– I only have friends from Spartak. I haven’t got a chance to meet Brazilians from other teams yet.
– You spent a long time in Donetsk, where people speak Russian, and then spent a long time with Spartak. Why haven’t you learned Russian?
– To tell you the truth I speak Russian. I don’t have a translator. When I go to stores or restaurants I always speak Russian, but when I give interviews or participate in TV shows I’m always afraid of making a mistake. I pronounce some words in a wrong way, that’s why I prefer to use Portuguese.
YESCHEHNKO CALLS ME MICKEY MOUSE
– Is that true that all foreign players in Donetsk had to learn Russian according to the terms of their contract?
– Yes, it’s true. We had Russian classes at the club’s base three times a week.
– Which Russian phrase do you say most often in Spartak?
– Luiz, we don’t mean obscenities.
– Let’s go to the training session to run for a while (speaks Russian).
– Spartak’s fans call Promes ‘bro’. Do you know what it means?
– What would you like to be called?
– I have one nickname that I hear in the locker room, but I won’t say anything about it. Also they often call me Adriano Celentano.
– Is it because you sing in Instagram?
– I sing a bit, yes. What other names do they call me? Ask Yeshchenko when you will interview him. He is the one who calls me Adriano. Another nickname he thought of is Mickey Mouse. I don’t know why he chose it.
– Which person from Spartak has the most original nickname?
– We call Dzhano Ananidze Bernard, like Bernard from Shakhtyor. It’s because of their size, both of them are small players.
– What is Massimo Carrera’s nickname?
– There is no nickname!
– In one of your interviews for SE you said that Fernando was stronger than Paredes. Do you think that at least one player of Zenit can be stronger than a member of Spartak who plays in the same position?
– Ask me to choose between someone and I will answer. It is really hard to compare, since all the players are really good.
– Kokorin or Luiz Adriano?
– Luiz Adriano!
I ADMIRE THE BEAUTY OF RUSSIAN GIRLS
– When you scored against FC Rubin — did you know how to put the ball down and outplay your opponent before you got the ball?
– The ball flew to my left foot, but I tried to score using my left foot during the first half of the meeting and failed. That’s why I decided to use the right foot, since it’s my dominant side. I got rid of the defender, performed a shot and scored a goal.
– Is this goal one of the top 5 goals you scored in your career?
– I don’t think so. I scored many other spectacular goals.
– Which goal that you scored do you think was the most beautiful? Which goal that you scored for Spartak was the best?
– The most beautiful was the one I scored for Shakhtyor against Metallurg: I performed a scissor kick over my head. As for Spartak — I remember about the goal I scored against Zenit. It was a great combination with Samedov, Ze Luis and I.
– There is a rumor that Ze Luis is not recovering after his stomach injury, but is enchanted by some Russian girl who’s good at dancing. What is really happening?
– I don’t think that this is about a woman. His abdomen muscles hurt really bad, this is why he can’t train or play. I hope he will recover soon.
– What do you think about Russian beauties?– I admire the beauty of Russian girls. When I go shopping I always see five or six amazingly beautiful Russian girls.