Best of 2023 – Silvio Berlusconi: What if things had gone differently?

In a recent reflection on the life of Silvio Berlusconi, former president of AC Milan and Monza and a prominent Italian politician, director Massimo Venier challenged journalists to write an intriguing and thought-provoking analysis of Berlusconi. Venier, an avid fan of Juventus, posted this challenge on Twitter. The tweet triggered memories of legendary AC Milan-Juventus matches, reminiscent of Berlusconi’s glittering era.

Berlusconi’s influence reached the height of victory when AC Milan outsmarted Barcelona by 4-0 in an unforgettable Champions League final on a day when Berlusconi, as the head of the Italian government, received a vote of confidence from the Senate. Davide Coppo, in an interview with RivistaUndici, astutely encapsulated the sentiment when he said, “You, you, will never realize what it means to have Silvio Berlusconi as the president of the team you cheer for, the real creator of the most successful cycle ever.”

The narrative of Berlusconi’s time as AC Milan owner is riddled with poignant moments – resonated by the heartbeats of Azzurro fans, whose patriotic cry “Forza Italia” echoed even in the wake of the national side’s defeat in the American World Cup.

Berlusconi’s love for football extended to all of Milan, with anecdotes surfacing about notes of encouragement to rivals Inter Milan at their times of difficulty. As Ernesto Pellegrini narrated, Berlusconi once sent him a note saying “Forza Inter!” – a sign of his warmth toward the city’s other club.

Wistful in retrospection, one can’t help but wonder: what if things had been different? Would there have been a Silvio Berlusconi without the football-mad Silvio Berlusconi? In an interview with Repubblica, AC Milan’s former coach Nils Liedholm once quipped about Berlusconi’s playing days, stating “Oh yes, he was a very fast forward player.”

Berlusconi, whose skills on the field never translated into a professional football career, instead chose to forge a legacy off it. His descent into football marked a revolutionary chapter in Italian football history. His love for the sport and his home club dictated a visionary path for AC Milan’s rise – a testament to an unforgettable epoch in football.

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