Words of affection continue to come in for former AC Milan owner and president Silvio Berlusconi after he passed away aged 86, including from old head coaches.
Berlusconi’s died at San Raffaele hospital in Milano this morning and you can read what some of the most influential figures in Milan’s history from Baresi and Nesta to Maldini and Inzaghi had to say about the news in our round-up.
In addition to that, we have written a feature which attempts to summarise his 31-year tenure at Milan in a feature looking back at his 31-year tenure as the owner and president, which yielded 29 trophies and countless memories.
Fabio Capello managed Milan firstly as a caretaker in 1987, then from 1991 to 1996 and again in 1997-98. He spoke to AndKronos about the death of Berlusconi (via MilanNews).
“Silvio Berlusconi was a genius. He had a vision that he was years ahead of. In many fields he has done incredible things, such as in football and in the business world, in other areas they have persecuted him,” he said.
“I owe my entire coaching career to him. After 4 years at the desk he called me to Milan. This surprised me but he made me proud and we achieved extraordinary results.”
Arrigo Sacchi worked under Berlusconi from 1987 to 1991 and then returned for a second spell in 1996-97, and he spoke to ANSA.
“I’m sick, despite everything I didn’t expect it. A brilliant friend to whom I owe everything. Silvio Berlusconi was a generous man and he tried to change this difficult country, made up of individualists,” he said.
“Was he too? No, he thought of the whole and saw far: when he took me I told him “you’re either mad or a genius”. Given the results, you give me the answer…”
Alberto Zaccheroni was the head coach from 1998 until 2001 and he gave a longer explanation of what Silvio meant to him on a segment with Sky.
“We had a respectful relationship, he never influenced my way of doing things. In part he didn’t share it, especially the three-man defence which at the time hardly anyone used. He had won everything with four at the back and therefore I understood his thinking,” he said.
“As president he did great things, he was a visionary, he made everything possible available to me. He is a man who knew things well and above all knew the people in front of him He did great things for Milan, even today there is still a little bit of him in the soul of this Milan.
“I well remember the beautiful words he said after winning our Scudetto. My arrival at Milan? I called Galliani and told me that Braida knew that I had already agreed with Inter, but he wanted to make an attempt anyway.
“He told him that I didn’t have any agreement with Inter, so he explained to me that we would talk the following week because they hadn’t made a decision yet. The following week he called me, I told him I was still free and so he made an appointment for the next day in Arcore.
” I went to Arcore and met the president alone, without Galliani. In 20 seconds we found an agreement. He was brilliant, he made a very good impression on me. Apart from the last period, the relationship with Berlusconi has always been good. I am very sorry for his passing, it is true that he had been in the hospital, but I did not expect it.”
Carlo Ancelotti was in charge at Milan from 2001 to 2009, and he tweeted his feelings.
“Today’s sadness does not erase the happy moments spent together. We remain infinitely grateful to the president, but above all to an ironic, loyal, intelligent, sincere man, fundamental in my adventure as a footballer first, and then as a coach. Thank you President.”
Filippo Inzaghi – the man who gave Milan its last Champions League in 2007 and was head coach in 2014-15 – said his farewell Silvio Berlusconi on Instagram.
“After more than a decade at his side, I’m sure that of all the photos that portray him he would have chosen this one. I will always carry in my heart his intelligence, his ability to always surround herself with valid and insightful people, his exuberance and his hunger for victory: the secrets of her success!
“Together with you we have written many special pages of Italian football and you will always and only be the only, great President for me.”
Finally we come to Vincenzo Montella, the last coach the Cavaliere had at Milan: “Proud to have given you the last trophy as President of your beloved Milan. Rest in peace.”