The Thousand Faces of Silvio Berlusconi

By | March 1, 2016

by Derek Wei

He’s probably the most controversial figure you have and will ever know from Italy. No matter what‘s your personal or profession interest, and no matter what kinds of news that you follow, I am sure that his name has come to you somehow at some point: he is a successful entrepreneur and powerful business tycoon, but his business holdings have been at the edge of bankruptcy for several times; he served as the Prime Minister of Italy in four government across two decades, but he’s almost (and maybe he will eventually) got convicted by the laws that were published by himself; he owns one of the biggest media conglomerate in Italy, and yet he himself is never absent from negative media coverage unfortunately. If you google his name, the second top-clicked link is a Wikipedia page created for “Controversies surrounding” him… Washington Post describes Donald Trump as the American version of him, but I personally think comparing with him, Trump still got a long way to go.

Silvio Berlusconi, Barbara Berlusconi, Adriano Galliani e Sinisa Mihajlovic, in occasione della presentazione alla stampa del mister a Casa Milan, 3 luglio 2015. ANSA/ STUDIO BUZZI - UFFICIO STAMPA ++HO - NO SALES EDITORIAL USE ONLY - NO ARCHIVE++

Of course, most people outside Italy don’t really personally care about him, as his actions, no matter how ridiculous or controversial, don’t have direct impact on their life. But for those tens of thousands of fans of AC Milan, it’s a totally different story: since 1986, our favorite teams is owned and controlled by this person. No matter whether we like him or not, we have to admit that today’s AC Milan is a product of him, no matter whether that’s a positive or negative thing.

He’s definitely brought good things to the team: right after he acquired the team, he helped to brought arguably the most powerful trios ever in soccer history to San Siro: Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard quickly led Milan towards one and anther trophies, indicating the renaissance of this historical team. Then there was the 4-0 victory over Barcelona in 94’s Champions League final and 6-0 sweep over Inter in 01’s Derby. Although the team dramatically lose to Liverpool at Istanbul in 05, they made no mistake two years later in Athens, claiming Milan’s seventh European triumph…

tumblr_m2dc42BpG61qfxktpo1_1280 The Dutch Trio

Bandar-Bola-Online1 Milan’s 2007 Champion League Victory

All of these good memories won’t be possible without II Cavaliere’s deep pocket and extensive connection in Italy. But at the same time he has also been bring issues to the team: his monopoly power in Italy media industry brought up lots of questions regarding the way he sell Milan’s television rights; his connection with Mafia and accusation on Milan’s game rigging activities isn’t uncorrelated; the scandal of his personal life frequently brought issue to the team’s public image; and even just a few weeks ago, he publically expressed racist language on Mario Balotelli, his own AC Milan’s star player…

silvio-berlusconi_30  No comment…

Having been a fan of Milan for over 10 years, I am still not sure how I should look at or judge this interest person. And maybe I will never figure out. But I am sure my memory about soccer won’t be same without him. And the story of this man with thousand faces, is still going on.

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