Adriano

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Ex-Inter striker Adriano — yes, that Adriano — signs for fourth-tier club in Florida

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From the UEFA Champions League to the American Soccer Pyramid’s fourth tier.

It may sound absurd, but four-time Serie A champion Adriano has emerged from a two-year absence to sign a deal with Miami United FC of the National Premier Soccer League.

No, not Miami FC of the NASL. Miami United of the NPSL.

[ MORE: Chelsea makes it official with USMNT defender Miazga ]

The 33-year-old battled weight issues after his days with the Brazil national team, and has only played in five games since leaving Roma in 2011 despite being property of three clubs. And what may’ve tipped the scales is the club offering 40 percent of all merchandise sales to the striker.

According to The Telegraph, Miami United club president Roberto Sacca says Adriano hoping he can use the fourth-tier to put himself in the MLS shop window.

Sacca told the Telegraph in an interview: “We have been in negotations for two to three months with his agent and he needed to go far from Brazil. His mother and family want him far from Brazil and all the distractions there and he thought Miami United would be a good fit for him when we made the offer.

“It is far from distraction and pressure – here there is no pressure. He has already lost a lot of weight – around 18lb – so he’s ready to play. We’re really excited to see him play.

“He was one of the best No 9s in the world and, without pressure he can do a great job for Miami United and then go to MLS. He wants to go there. He is still young, he is only 33 and if he plays at 25 per cent of how he was, he can play in MLS with his blind eyes.”

Still, the idea of a man who scored 27 goals for Brazil including 10 in a calendar year (2005) playing in Florida for a fourth-tier side is next level.

Six goals in a Copa America, five goals in a Confederations Cup and two more in the World Cup. Welcome to Miami. Even if he’s a shell of himself, this will be an interesting experiment. And odd that Miami is considered less of a distraction-heavy climate that Brazil!

Barcelona’s plan to upgrade left back being put into motion

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Jordi Alba’s return to Barcelona is almost done, with nearly a year’s worth of speculation about to come to an end over the next two days.

The Valencia left back, a one-time Barcelona academy member, is set to move back to the Nou Camp, if Mundo Deportivo is right. According to the Catalan outlet, the two sides are an insignificant distance apart, with a face-to-face meeting between parties within the next two days expected to resolve the difference. According to the report, Valencia has already started looking for replacements, having targeted Roma’s Jose Angel, Espanyol’s Didac Vila, and Rayo Vallecano’s Juan Manuel Casado.

Alba’s a perfect fit for a Barca side that has made do with Adriano at left back since Eric Abidal left the team to undergo a liver transplant. With Abidal unlikely to play for Barcelona again, the team needs a long-term solution. Alba is only 23 years old, is cementing his place in the Spanish national team, and fits perfectly into Barcelona’s system.

After Abidal left the team, left back and goalkeeper were the two positions where Pep Guardiola didn’t have truly world class players. Adriano was a capable replacement, but he also represented a point of improvement. With reports having the Brazilian linking with a move to Juventus (according to Sky Italia), it looks like Barcelona’s about to make that upgrade, allowing the already talent-rich to get much talent-richer.