“I will never forget”… Berlusconi, the controversial politician who changed the game of soccer, dies at 87

Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian politician who elevated AC Milan to new heights and had a major impact on the evolution of tactics in world soccer, died on Wednesday. He was 87 years old.

Berlusconi was a titanic politician who was elected Prime Minister of Italy three times. Despite his political clout, Berlusconi was criticized for his populism, using his media companies and soccer team for popularity. He has been accused of corruption and of using his position to favor women.

Berlusconi bought his hometown team Milan in 1986 and spent 30 years at the helm, building it into one of the most successful teams of its era, winning five UEFA Champions League titles and eight Italian Serie A titles. In 2016, he sold the team to Chinese entrepreneur Li Yonghong.

Notably, he not only brought in players for Milan, but also supported a tactical revolution by giving the then-unknown coach Arrigo Saki full control. Milan’s pressing tactics in the late 1980s, based on a 4-4-2 formation, are highly regarded as an influence on modern soccer. 스포츠토토

Less than two years after leaving Milan, Berlusconi bought Monza, a third-division club in a neighboring town, and led them to promotion to the top flight last year. It was the first promotion in the club’s 110-year history. Berlusconi’s reputation was on the mend as Monza finished 11th in Serie A this season. But it was also a time when his health deteriorated at the end of the season after a long period of invisibility.

Condolences poured in. Milan tweeted, “Deeply saddened. Milan will never forget Mr. Berlusconi. We send our condolences to the bereaved family.” Monza added: “He will be with us forever. All of us at Monza, including CEO Adriano Galliani, are devastated by the loss of Berlusconi.”

Current Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti, who worked closely with Berlusconi as a player and manager at Milan, said: “The joy we shared will not be overshadowed by our sadness. I will be forever grateful. He was a paradoxical, loyal, intelligent and trustworthy man, who supported me as a player and as a coach.”

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