Savicevic explains why he drove 1,200km for ‘second father’ Berlusconi’s funeral

By Oliver Fisher -

Dejan Savicevic wanted to make sure that he didn’t miss Silvio Berlusconi’s funeral as he drove over 1,000km to be present, paying tribute to AC Milan’s former owner.

Savicevic has driven over 1,200km from Podgorica to Milan to attend Berlusconi’s state funeral this afternoon, which began at 15:00 CEST in the Duomo in the city centre and is continuing at present.

The forward joined the Rossoneri in 1992 after winning the European Cup with Red Star Belgrade and he was a player that Berlusconi especially wanted, given his love for having a creative No.10 to play behind two strikers.

Savicevic spoke during an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport about what Berlusconi meant to him and just why he wanted to be there today, with his comments relayed by PianetaMilan.

“The President was truly a second father. He loved me. I loved him too. I will say goodbye to him for the last time, it was a difficult start,” he said.

“I spoke to Daniele Massaro and I told him I could take a plane at 11:00. And he advised me to wait, because it’s a state funeral, there are rules and restrictions for safety. All right, I understand. Then they called me back and at that point I left by car, from Podgorica to Milan. Today I’ll be in the Duomo too, I can’t miss it.

On what Berlusconi was to Savicevic: “I said it, a second father. It seems like a big, exaggerated word. But it is so. I felt that he loved me, that he respected me, he defended me. Even too much.”

An anecdote he recalls: “I did some sh** and I made a mistake, but he sorted everything out and told me to stay calm, to be patient. Once, against Anderlecht, I refused to go on the bench.

“He came outside a mess, Capello was angry. Berlusconi agreed with Fabio, but he also said that Dejan must be understood. He is a champion and suffered because he wasn’t able to play.”

On his move to Milan in 1992: “Milan were the top in Europe. True, I could have gone to Juve, then to Roma, then to Monaco in France. I was at Red Star, we had won the European Cup, beaten Marseille in Bari. I was supposed to win the Ballon d’Or, but they gave it to Papin. He lost the final, he finished second, but he was French. Do you understand?”

On Milan’s last-minute move: “Yes, it was a very quick thing. I know there was interest from Juve. Ariedo Braida, a great director, came to Belgrade and I signed. It was all very easy Braida was happy and said: ‘Well, well, no problem, Dejan’.”

On a difficult start under Capello: “Yes. It was very hard, I couldn’t handle it. I was going crazy, I wanted to go home. After six months I asked to leave…”

On how Berlusconi reacted: “I told him but he told me to stay calm. Capello let me play very little, also because Gullit, Van Basten and Rijkaard were up front. And then he sent me on the pitch for twenty minutes.

“And I said to him: ‘But let me play 5-6 complete games in a row, and then you’ll understand if I’m worthy of Milan. If I’m not, I’m leaving’. There were requests, I wasn’t the last to arrive.”

On when Savicevic became ‘The Genius of Montenegro’ at Milan: “After a while and many problems due to the language, the relationship with the city, the food, the team-mates, the different league.

“The President helped me a lot and Boban. Zvone told me: ‘Dejan, don’t be a fool, you’re stronger than all, don’t leave. You’ll see, you play and then smash everything’.”

On the 1994 Champions League final against Barcelona, ​​with one of his goals and Berlusconi becoming head of government: “Almost thirty years have gone by. But it’s true, certain things, certain emotions can never be forgotten. We played against Barcelona, ​​we were underdogs, doomed. And instead we won 4-0!”

On what Berlusconi told him after that match: “He wasn’t there. They had just elected him Prime Minister. He called me the day before the match: ‘Dear Dejan, they say you’re a genius. Well, show me against Barcelona’.”

On the outcome of the match after that call: “Yes, come on, it went well. It was perhaps the most beautiful final. And when I think of that goal, my Milan, Berlusconi, that wonderful environment always comes to mind. We have become so because he was there, our great President.”

Tags AC Milan Dejan Savicevic Silvio Berlusconi


  1. It was a great goal. As a kid I remember it being from near the side of tge pitch and just inside Barca’s half but when I watched it the other day (even though I’ve seen it 1000 times) I finally realised it’s just on the edge of the area. Great goal all the same

  2. I knew most of this but so many great details I didn’t know. Great article, Sempre, on my absolute favorite player of all time.

  3. Wow what a President,what a loss for AC Milan and Italian football,so passionate about is own,something Gerry Cardinale and Rebird cooperates will never be; arrogance will be the fall of America as they really respect history and believe to know best.

Comments are closed

Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.