Sacchi defends ‘justified’ Maldini after not attending Berlusconi’s funeral

By Isak Möller -

Silvio Berlusconi’s funeral took place yesterday and many well-known figures were present to say goodbye to the former AC Milan present. However, the Rossoneri icon Paolo Maldini was not present. 

Maldini was recently relieved of his duties at Milan by Gerry Cardinale, who has different plans for the club, and that decision has seemingly affected him a lot. Yesterday, he even missed out on the funeral of Berlusconi.

A Milan delegation of Giorgio Furlani, Paolo Scaroni, Franco Baresi and Daniele Massaro were present at the funeral, along with several other legends. Arrigo Sacchi was one of them and he spoke to Gazzetta Dello Sport about the absence of Maldini.

“Berlusconi was a great president and a great man. When they brought me in, I said to him and his people: ‘Either you are geniuses or you are crazy’. They were geniuses. When I resigned, he continued to pay me until the beginning of my contract with the national team, without my asking. Maldini’s absence? For me, Paolo is justified, I don’t think he deserved what they did to him last week,” he said as cited by MilanNews.

It’s possible that Maldini didn’t want to face the current top brass at Milan, or he was simply not able to attend for logistical reasons. Either way, it’s clear that Maldini’s departure could have been handled a lot better by Cardinale and co.

Tags AC Milan Arrigo Sacchi Paolo Maldini Silvio Berlusconi


  1. “Sacchi is old and doesn’t know what he’s saying.” — @Poli
    “Yes, Sacchi doesn’t know what he’s saying, because he’s old.” — @BB
    “I agree. Old age is affecting Sacchi.” — @Dejan10 & the rest of Cardinale’s fart-sniffing horde.

    1. The Americans are famous for their spin doctors and online shill army.

      Just take a look of the sudden rush of anti-Maldini posters with the same scripts and the co-ordinated smear campaign againt Maldini on the media.


  2. Yea so another Milan legend joins all the other legends who came out in saying the same thing that Maldini’s dismissal was undeserved or along similar lines. Yet ppl on here gonna want u think otherwise

  3. Anywayyyyy………. it is interesting how Savicevic drove 1000 miles to get to the funeral and Maldini couldn’t drive around the block (assuming he was in Milan). Bit strange to let his firing get in the way of paying tribute to the man who basically recreated his beloved AC Milan from scratch – but maybe some kind of explanation for his behavior will come out soon.

    1. You spend so much time and energy here trying to prove we’re Maldini lovers when we’re only saying, as Sacchi, Ancelotti, Leonardo, Kakà, Baresi, etc. that the way he was fired was inelegant and confusing, but now you’re just showing us you’re a Maldini hater? Wtf man please just respect the biggest bandiera of Milan’s glorious history, you can totally say you didn’t like his work as a sporting director, that’s your opinion and we can only debate, but don’t try to tarnish who he is: a respected man among his pairs and former teammates, beloved by the players.

      1. Now I’m a Maldini hater for pointing out it’s strange how he didn’t go to Silvio’s funeral…. I really can’t be bothered to engage with drivel anymore.

        1. Haha you’re using rhetorical mechanics to imply something. Anyway you are the perfect embodiment of Brandolini’s law. See you around.

      2. Tell me how to fired maldini with elegant and not hurt you ? Dont say : you cannot fired legend or he is imune from sacked.

    2. Anywayyyyyy….you presume to know facts but in reality you know nothing about the situation. How a man chooses to grieve is a personal decision and only between him and the Berlusconi family. Maybe he went to their house personally and offered condolences or maybe he stayed away as to not take the attention and focus off the funeral (as if Maldini attended it would have caused the media to ask a million questions on his sacking) in respect for Berlusconi the man who Maldini said he loved in a public statement upon his passing. Again just another idiot trying to bash Maldini because this little by didn’t like the transfers he made LOL. Grow up little boy @dejan10 – and move on w the Maldini hate.

      1. U said it all bro. I wonder how pple think the know best of everything in about other people personal acts. Mediocre’s

  4. When I think of Milan I think of the players who I supported as a child. The management, I couldn’t care less for. It’s not them that made me love football and love Milan for that matter. When I think Milan I don’t think Braida, I think Kaka, Gullit, Sheva,Seedorf etc. So this idea that I have to inherently get behind Moncada and co to show my love for Milan is misplaced at best. I don’t have to.
    Now, I’ll support who they eventually buy at the end of the transfer window and make assessments just as how I would for any management team. At one point I wanted Galliani the legend out even though he brought me memories. But Maldini was not there yet. He gave the very results they wanted and was getting better at what he was doing. He embodied the ambitions he had as a player and worthy for a team as Milan as he knew it, and wanted it to bear fruit for the current team.
    For me Maldini was different, he was more than just a director. He was a director with a distinct connection to the past on the field in the most glorious of ways. There is no one that comes close bar perhaps Baresi. Internationally renowned and admired bore weight in the resurgence of the Milan team in it’s current form. The way they shelved him was disgusting, felt used and showed a lack of of understanding of the very institution that is Milan, so it’s hard to support the current setup knowing very well they were also part of the same decisions M&M(&M&P&F) were making.
    My opinion don’t hold weight but just look at the what other former legends of the club are saying. You can’t tell me this is business as usual.

  5. Maldini has always been a quiet person, away from the media,since he retired until he got a role in the club, quiet, respectful, im happy he is continuing that way and i believe one day he will be back at milan again, milan is his life, noone can take that away from him, all these people will be gone in not more than 10years, and fans like him and us will remain forever

    1. Spot on. I think they’re actually petitioning the club to name it AC Maldini and get his face sewn inside every pair of shorts.

    2. That’s one way to see it 😉 Yours, actually. Especially if by AC Milan you mean Associazione Commerciale Milan. Andiamo Jerry’s cheerleading troop!

  6. Look at all the fanboys celebrating a weak behavior by their idol.
    “Oh Sacchi is right”.
    Show what kind of man your idol is and exposes his fanboys for what they are.
    He couldn’t even show up to pay respect for everything Berlusconi did for him, or even more importantly, pay respect and support to his family.
    He was hiding behind the work of Moncada as a director and now he is hiding behind his emotions for being fired to not attend a funeral.
    Baresi was there. I guess Curva Sud was right when they sent Maldini into retirement in the same way Cardinale sent him out of the door:
    “There is only one captain, Baresi”

    1. Ugly comment. You don’t know his reasons, don’t spit on someone who was always acting elegant. There’s tons of statements from former teammates, opponents, coworkers, journalists praising Maldini for being a gentleman. Where are yours? He’s a thousand times the human being you are.

      1. Fanboy comment 101
        Oh let me hurry up and defend my idol.
        If Maldini wanted to be there and pay respect he would have been there.
        “Where there is a will, there is a way.”
        Plus, read the article and the comments of maldinisti.
        Sacchi said Maldini is justified not to come because he didn’t deserve what they did to him.
        Basically saying Maldini didn’t come because his feelings are still hurt. And maldinisti, of course, approve of it.
        Weak behavior.
        But maldinisti were criticizing Cardinale because didn’t step on the field for Ibra farewell ceremony, but they approve Maldini not attending Berlusconi funeral.
        Weak behavior all the way around

        1. Hater comment 101. Once again you don’t know his reasons. Narrow-minded af. Please teach Paolo Maldini, one of the best defenders of all time, captain for one of the best teams in the entire history of football and a five-time UCL winner, how to be strong like you Thor.

    2. Wow you just gone from hating Maldini as a director to hating Maldini as a person. Bravo.

      The Curva Sud have done many reprehensible things over the years, but the way they treated Paolo Maldini during his final home match is an ugly scar on Milan’s beautiful history that has never been forgotten by anyone, including non-Milan supporters. Maldini refused to bow down to the Curva when they were behaving badly, and he was the only one willing to speak out publicly against their terrorist-like tactics. They rewarded his 900th match for Milan, 25 seasons with the club, winning everything imaginable, and being the longest serving one-team player in Serie A with disgraceful banners and chants that shocked the world. Even the Roma players honored him that day. Vergogna.

      The contrast between their behavior that day and exactly 12 years to that day this year, when they went to Casa Milan to honor him for the work he has done to bring Milan back to the Champions League demonstrates precisely how fickle these “passionate supporters” of Milan can be, and how their support is driven by personal objectives and politics rather than actually supporting the club. Their mob mentality is literally led by a known criminal who has not only been convicted of crimes and served jail time, but also served a five year ban from all Italian sporting events, known as a DASPO during the time that he has been considered the “undisputed leader” of the Curva Sud.

      That man is called Luca Lucci. His known record of crimes begins when he was linked with the murder of a lawyer called Mariana Spinella in 2006. Luigi Cicalese, one of the murder accomplices, testified that Lucci was involved with providing the car involved. He also testified that Lucci was dealing cocaine at the time, with Cicalese having supplied him the drugs himself. However, Lucci’s middle man in the murder case, Daniele Cataldo, was arrested in 2015 on drug and weapons charges, and thus no charges were ever made against Lucci for his involvement in 2006.

      Lucci succeeded Curva Sud leader Giancarlo “Sandokan” Lombardi after he stepped down following his arrest for drug dealing. Lombardi and Lucci already had close ties. In 2009, the year that Lucci became the leader of the Curva Sud, he was arrested and convicted for assaulting Virgilio Motta, an Inter fan, at the February derby. Motta lost an eye as a result of Lucci’s punches. Lucci received a jail sentence of four years and six months, the five year DASPO ban, and a fine of €140,000 was ordered to be paid by he and other defendants, although it was never paid. Meanwhile, three years later to the day, the Inter fan hung himself.

      The headquarters of the Curva Sud, known as “The Clan 1899” and located in Sesto San Giovanni, is run by Lucci’s wife, according to official documents. However, in all practical senses of the word, it is Luca Lucci himself who runs it, even if he is technically only an employee. Although it is registered as a non-profit official ACSI (Association of Italian Sports Centers) club headquarters, in 2012, Lucci and the headquarters were reported to be involved in an operation in which three tons of hashish were seized in a drug raid involving a Calabrese mafia family and also a noted Milanese drug dealer, Francesco Massimiliano Cauchi.

      In June of 2018, both Luca Lucci and the head of Inter’s stewards were amongst 22 people arrested for drug trafficking charges after 600 kilos of marijuana, hashish, and cocaine were seized. This was part of a case known as the “Mongolfiera” investigation that began in 2016. Lucci, also known as “il Toro” (the Bull) or “Belvaitalia” (Italian beast,) was able to negotiate a sentence of one year and six months in jail, but “The Clan 1899” was once again indicated as the logistical base for this deal. However, what really made headlines that year was in December of 2018, when the Curva Sud was celebrating their 50th anniversary, he was photographed with then Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini. The latter, a self-proclaimed Milan fan, claimed not to have known of Lucci’s arrest six months prior, but the photos implied that they knew each other quite well.

      March of 2019 saw an attempted murder of Enzo Anghinelli, a drug trafficker, which opened up a new investigation of the criminal activities involving Lucci. Although in that investigation only four kilos of marijuana were seized, “The Clan 1899” was amongst €1 million of Lucci’s assets seized by police in June of 2019. Prosecutors in this case against him deemed him “a person potentially capable of placing large loads of drugs among the stadium-goers thanks to his charismatic role as leader of the Curva Sud” and also his “collaboration with subjects of high criminal depth.” His drug deals over the years have involved imports from Albania, Morocco, Spain, and South America.

      As a part of the seizure of assets in 2019, Lucci was banned from staying in the municipalities of Milano and Sesto San Giovanni for three years. He was not allowed out of his home between the hours of 10pm and 7am and was not allowed within three kilometers of stadiums where football was played. Law enforcement have had a difficult time catching Lucci with possession or other hard evidence, but he had another €1.2 million in assets seized last year in July of 2020.

      Lucci has had business connections with those involved in Calabrian and other mafia groups, as well as other convicted criminals and even a Juventus fan group that has been involved in criminal proceedings for extortion. Unlike his predecessor, Lombardi, who had the decency to bow out as head of the Curva Sud when he was arrested for drug dealing, Lucci has continued to utilize “The Clan 1899” as not only the Curva’s headquarters, but also as a center of operations for drug and other criminal operations. Other members of the Curva Sud have also been involved at various levels of drug trafficking in relation to Lucci’s activities.

      With continued efforts and collaborations between multiple anti-drug and other law enforcement groups, they were finally able to gather the evidence they needed via encrypted chats and make the arrests this month. Lucci was amongst eight arrested or charged in conjunction with drug trafficking again on December 17th of this year. Of the eight involved, Lucci and six others are active members of the Curva Sud. He is currently imprisoned and has refused to speak during interrogations about his part in these charges. The irony of him sitting in jail as 700 traveling members of the Curva Sud were at the Empoli match wearing Santa hats was not lost on me.

      That stark juxtaposition between “passionate fans” and criminals that is in actuality is a connection, not a juxtaposition, is not unique to Milan’s Curva Sud. Many Italian ultrà groups have links to various criminal activities and organizations. Looking at the timeline, however, and the events that have unfurled, under Lucci’s reign as head of the Curva, the motives and behaviors of Milan’s most “passionate fans” have significantly deteriorated from a moral standpoint. Also ironically, between jail time, a 5 year DASPO, and a three year ban from even being within three kilometers of any stadium, the leader of the Curva Sud has rarely even been allowed to attend the matches of the team he claims to support. Labeled by law enforcement as a “dangerous subject,” he has used the Curva Sud as a front for his many illicit activities over the years.

      Lucci took over in 2009. Maldini’s farewell was in 2009. Since that time, they have threatened many of our own players, including locking both sets of players in the garage at San Siro, threatening our own players with sticks, threatening players like Donnarumma ahead of matches over mere rumors (that were never true,) notoriously boycotting matches gaining worldwide infamy, and more. A member of the Curva even stabbed a fellow fan at a Bologna match.

      1. Preach it bro. I brought this up in a comment on another article but didn’t go into detail ie about the Curva who I also do not like. The relationship had soured badly after the 2005 UCL loss to Liverpool and the ultras got their panties in a bunch because we lost that gm and Maldini told them off thereby protecting his teammates as he always does to the club he loves. From then on it was never the same. I’m proud he stood up to them.

        These guys that comment here don’t know squat. Ask them about your name, they def wouibe able to tell u. They learn from other ppls comments about the history of Milan, they haven’t grown up with Milan. They say they look at Maldini’s work objectively but clearly they have a personal vendetta against him. They actually hate Maldini the person. It’s a logical conclusion. They’re literally only here to comment on Maldini in a negative light, never anywhere else. Never comment on Ibras last day or anything else, always Maldini this Maldini that. They are sad ppl
        I’m so proud “that I’m am not one of them”

      2. they just want to hide cheap & mediocre method of the new owner by bashing il Capitano bcs of CDK 1st season

  7. Everyday sempre milan section comment full of fight AC Milan fans vs maldini fans. This is simple if you dont have same vision and purpose with your boss , you only have 2 option : resign or sacked. Bayern muenchen sacked 2 of their legend oliver kahn & hasan salihamidzic even they win bundesliga title , do you see bayern fans mocking bayern high board? Maldini fans here everyday praying AC Milan get bad result,get relegation, get fallen to banter era so they can mocking and say : thats what you get because sacked maldini . I respect maldini when he was player as legend . But see this maldini fans here every day pray bad thing happen to AC Milan make me confuse , did maldini truly have same hope like his fanboy in this site? Even if he get fired , he still get full salary till 2025

    1. Bayern fired them because of poor results. As Milan did with Seedorf or Pippo or Gattuso (mutual consent). Isn’t Maldini responsible for our recent delight with a scudetto and the resurgence of the team? I mention only Maldini, because you only mention him when you point the few mistakes the club did the past few years. It’s well known now that he got fired because he disagreed with Jerry’s vision of what Milan should be: a fierce competitor and contender in every competition, not just a profitable brand to resell.

      Now I don’t see where any of us “pray” for losses and disaster, that’s just the story you tell yourself to convince yourself you’re one of the few omniscient fans of the club.

      We can debate and disagree about why he got fired in the first place, did he make mistakes, does Jerry is our lord and saviour, or the mercato news, but some here spit on the man and it’s unbearable.

      1. Really bartholomeo? I read it many times you say AC Milan will fall down to banter era, your digital comment cannot erased here in sempre milan. So if winning scudetto & go to semifinal CL thats because maldini effect only . If mistake or failure thats because pioli,furlani,moncada and gery ? So you want to say maldini are the saint with no mistake and no owner can sacked him ? Well lets make him owner then so no one can sack him anymore . Lets go donation 1000 euro each fans until reach 2 billion euro to make your dream come true

    2. @Reccaman, let’s paint the correct picture at Bayern Munich.
      Scene 1. Bayern is playing well in 3 competitions – quarter-finals of UCL and DFB Pokal, and top of Bundesliga under Julian Nagelsmann as coach.

      Scene 2. Enter club legend and CEO
      Oliver Kahn who arbitrarily sacks the coach Nagelsmann and replaces him with sacked Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel.

      Scene 3. Bayern Munich crashes out of DFB Pokal and then gets mauled by Man City in the UCL.

      Scene 4. Bayern Munich managed to win Bundesliga on the last day thanks to Borussia Dortmund bottling up their last game.

      Scene 5. Club legend Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

      This is what happened at Bayern Munich.

      Now, it’s possible that some of us are a bit overboard with our emotions — it’s to be expected of a Milan fan to be passionate. However, in our hearts of hearts we don’t want to see Milan go down. The vibes we’re picking from the new management is responsible for the reaction — and it’s aggravated by the Cardinale fart sniffers, who now attack the person of Paolo Maldini without rhyme or reason.

      To be clear, he who pays the Piper dictates the tune; however the concession must come from management now. Maldini has been sacked and there’s nothing anyone can do about it, but management, while trying to achieve whatever goal(s) they have in mind, must know that without the fans, they have nothing. They must win the fans’ hearts back. This is not about Maldini any more.

      1. exactly, Maldini do many greats for Milan & some mistakes, gery do nothing, he maybe the owner but Maldini together with us for long time & still hope/try his best for The Great Milan not the feeder club Milan

  8. Owning, and running any business requires a mixture of intelligence, know-how, connections, emotions, politics e.t.c.
    Maldini could have shown a little more humility and regard for Cardinale. It was a power game that ended badly for Paulo.

  9. Its vision A vs vision B, some believe in vision A, some believe in vision B, its not about individuals, and the fans who believe in vision A love ac milan as much as the ones who believe in vision B, we all wish that ac milan get their 2nd star next season, and we all wish that we wont be push overs in the ucl esp that we are in pot 3, its all for the love of ac milan, we dont want to be laughed at in bars and at work next season, we dont want to be embarassed by inter anymore

  10. I am glad Maldini got sucked. And him not showing at Berlusconi’s funeral just confirms that I am right. He didn’t show for Mihajlovic’s funeral too. Don’t know about Vialli. He was a great player but very weak director and poor human being. He is not even a 0,1% of what Galliani was for ACM. If he stayed he would have brought his friends to ACM to be a coach (Shevchenko) and managers (Pirlo, Ambrosini, Oddo etc.) just like he brought his son to play. That’s not how you manage the club. Thanks God and Cardinale for getting rid of him. Now we are going to be much stronger.

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