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Silvio Berlusconi, the former prime minister of Italy and owner of AC Milan, has died at the age of 86.

He was a major figure in the country’s politics and football for much of the past three decades, and under his ownership, Milan won 29 trophies, including eight Serie A titles and five European Cups.

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.

His career in both football and politics was marred by allegations of corruption, tax evasion and sexual misconduct. Berlusconi had been in hospital with leukaemia and a lung infection earlier this year and was readmitted to hospital last week.

James Horncastle, The Athletic’s Italian football writer, gave an in-depth history of Berlusconi’s remarkable life and legacy — and why he can be considered the most influential man in modern European football — in a two-part series, ‘Berlusconi — The man who made Milan’, as part of Golazzo: The Totally Italian Football Show podcast. These podcasts were recorded in 2020.

(Top image: Silvio Berlusconi in 2011; Olivier Morin/AFP via Getty Images)



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