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Former AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has died at the age of 86.

The Italian, whose career was marred by allegations of corruption, tax evasion and sexual misconduct, had been in hospital with leukaemia and a lung infection earlier this year. He was readmitted to hospital last week.

Berlusconi was a four-time prime minister of Italy for a total of nine years between 1994 and 2011 and owned Milan from 1986 to 2017.

With his purchase of the club, Berlusconi saved Milan from near bankruptcy. Milan won five Champions Leagues and eight Serie A titles during the Berlusconi era as they became one of Europe’s most formidable clubs.

In a statement, Milan said: “Deeply saddened, AC Milan grieves the passing of the unforgettable Silvio Berlusconi and wishes to reach out to the family, associates, and most cherished friends to share our sympathies.

“Thank you, Mr. President. Always with us.

Berlusconi sold Milan to a Chinese-led consortium in 2017 but returned to football club ownership the following year when he purchased lower-league side AC Monza.

Since Berlusconi bought them, Monza have twice been promoted and finished 11th in their debut season in Serie A last season. In December, Berlusconi promised his players sex workers if they beat a top team in Serie A.

Adriano Galliani, Monza’s CEO who also worked closely with Berlusconi during their time at Milan, said: “A gap that will never be filled, forever with us. Thank you for everything Presidente.”

Berlusconi was the leader of the Forza Italia party from 1994 and served as a senator from October 2022 until his death.

(Photo: ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)



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