Women, helicopters, and championships. Berlusconi's soccer legacy.

By Liam Styles

Women, helicopters, and championships. Berlusconi's soccer legacy.

The former AC Milan president has so many stories that will become legends after his passing.

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The most controversial name in the history of Italian soccer is Silvio Berlusconi. His money helped him build an epochal team that won 25 championships in 20 years. But it was also a story of prostitutes, fights, divorces, misogyny and politics that have made him a tabloid sensation.

Berlusconi bought AC Milan in 1986. He arrived in a helicopter on the first day while 'Ride of the Valkyries' was playing like in Francis Ford Coppola's 'Apocalypse Now'. His statement on the high cost of buying the Italian club was that 'it was worth it, but the most beautiful woman also costs too much'.

In the first year they managed to become champions with one of the most important Dutch generations in history. They made legendary names such as Ruud Gullit, Frank Rikjaard and Marco Van Basten, led by the coach who reinvented Italian soccer, Arrigo Sacchi. Despite that, the scandals of hiring women during the team's training camps and in the room of the famous businessman were legendary.

One of his most controversial images was in the 2005 UEFA Champions League final. AC Milan were leading by three goals in the first half and Berlusconi invited a Reds fan to taunt them. When they equalized, the Rossoneri president punched him in the chest and dragged him out of his VIP box.

How was Berlusconi's end in soccer?

In 2017, Berlusconi sold AC Milan to an Italian investment group for 740 million euros and bought the modest Monza of the third division. With the investment launched by the Italian tycoon they were able to climb in less than five years to Serie A, where they had one of the best tournaments for a newly promoted club, reaching eighth place in the last championship.

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