Carlo Pallavicino – the former agent – of Manuel Rui Costa, has revealed all the details of his client’s move from Fiorentina to AC Milan.
In the summer of 2001, Rui Costa’s transfer from Fiorentina to Milan was one that shook Serie A. In old money it cost around 80 billion lire, which is roughly equivalent to €41.3m today and was Milan’s record signing until Leonardo Bonucci’s arrival in 2017.
Silvio Berlusconi, after some initial resistance, decided to buy the Portuguese playmaker to put him behind the attacking duo of Shevchenko-Inzaghi. A trident of champions for the team entrusted to Fatih Terim, later replaced by Carlo Ancelotti.
Carlo Pallavicino was Rui Costa’s agent at the time and therefore knows the ins and outs of the whole affair, and he spilled the beans in an interview with Calciomercato.com.
“Fiorentina that year was faced with the possibility of failure and had the obligation to sell Rui Costa and Toldo.” he said.
“For the Portuguese they asked for 80 billion lire. With Tanzi and Branchini’s son we took a plane together, we traveled on a private flight to Faro to convince Rui to accept Parma. They were ready to give him an incredible amount, 10 billion lire of salary.
“They tried in every way to sign him, it seemed done, but the boy had AC Milan in mind because the Fiorentina coach, Terim, had signed for the Rossoneri and with him in Florence he had a great time.
“Too bad that AC Milan was not entirely convinced because at the time Berlusconi was president of the board and considered it unpopular to spend 80 billion for a player.
“For Rui Costa only another perspective opened up compared to Parma, it was that of Lazio. I booked a train at 5″30 in the morning to arrive in Rome in time where Cragnotti at Cirio was waiting for me to concretise the transfer of Rui Costa to Lazio in black and white.
“I went to bed very early, I unplugged my cell phone and the next day I turned it back on by train only a few kilometres from Rome, I was in Orvieto. So it was then that I found 40 voicemail messages, all from Rui Costa and Branchini calling me to tell me that in the night Galliani had managed to convince Berlusconi to give the money needed.”