Report: With the addition of Jordi Alba during the summer Adriano's role in the team was clear - he would be the primary backup at both full-back positions. Adriano's first appearances of the season came in both legs of the Supercopa de España. His first leg performance was very solid, but in the second leg he couldn't handle Cristiano Ronaldo, and was shown a straight red card after only 28 minutes.
The Brazilian rebounded well from that embarrassing showing, scoring opening goals in the next two games. But then the injuries began, at first of minor nature, forcing Adriano to miss just a game or two. After returning from his first injury Adriano was put into an unfamiliar position - playing center back. With Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol sidelined Adriano was forced to slide to the heart of the defense.
While Adriano wasn't particularly bad playing in the center, he wasn't a revelation either. He offered good speed, but he was often caught out of position. With Adriano's speed the lack of positional awareness wasn't as noticeable when playing as a full-back, but in the center not even his speed was enough to recover from mistakes. Another problem with Adriano playing as a center-back was his lack of size. He is one of the less physical players on the team and for playing central defender you have to play a physical game, especially in the air where Adriano especially struggled.
Seemingly every fourth game after Adriano made a return from injury he was sidelined again. In a span beginning in the middle of November he was injured twice in less than two months, forcing him to miss eight games. In the 2013 part of the season Adriano missed seven more games with three different injuries. In all there were seven muscle injuries in the season that forced Adriano to miss playing time.
Adriano closed out the season not in best form, often being the most unconvincing defender in what was a very unconvincing defensive line anyway. The poor form also caught the eye of Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari who opted against calling up Adriano for the Confederations Cup. But Adriano did appear in four international friendlies for the Seleção in the 2012-13 season.
Moment of the season: Offensively Adriano had his best season in a Blaugrana shirt, equaling his career high in goals scored with six. Two of them were absolutely stunning, the game-winner against Valencia and the tying goal against Atletico Madrid. Both goals came from some distance from the penalty box, interestingly, though, one was drilled with the left foot while the other was right-footed. Choosing which one was better was difficult, but the goal against Atletico Madrid just edged it because Adriano had to create space to take the shot on his own.
Adriano Goal vs Athletico Madrid (via 66random66)
|Started on the Bench
|Shots on Goal
|BB Community Rating*||6.41
*BB Community Rating represents the average rating (out of 10) Barca Blaugranes community members gave to the player for his performances throughout the season
Record with Adriano Correia in the starting lineup: 21-4-2
2013-14 Outlook: Adriano will go into the season as one of the backups in three different positions. He will be the primary replacement for Alba at left-back and will challenge Martin Montoya for the first backup spot behind Dani Alves. Judging by Tito Vilanova's words Adriano will also be expected to fill in at center-back if necessary. Hopefully the Brazilian can avoid too many injuries this season, but if that will indeed happen it will be one of the most positive surprises of the season.
Next Up: Carles Puyol