The AC Milan fans on the 'Curva Sud' unveiled a spectacular tribute to Silvio Berlusconi on the occasion of his final Milan derby as club president. He has sold the club to Chinese investment firm, Sino-Europe Sports. They will formally take control on 13 December.
Berlusconi took over the club in 1986. They were pottering around aimlessly in mid-table and hadn't won a title since 1979. In the early 80s, they even dipped into Serie B. They even bought Luther Blisset.
Whatever about his talent as a prime minister, Silvio's reign in Milan has been wildly successful, even if the success has tapered off in the past decade. They've won eight Serie A's and five European Cups in his time, the most intense period of success occuring in the early 90s. The Milan supporters' giant tribute to their boss focused on the number of trophies they accumulated under Silvio.
Like many meglomaniacal politicians, Silvio is a sucker for flattery.
Penso che un sogno così non ritorni mai più....#unpresidente #milan #DerbyMilano #coreografia #Berlusconi pic.twitter.com/VbUmJforyf
— Licia Ronzulli ن (@LiciaRonzulli) November 21, 2016
Whether he's actually toddling off is another question. He confirmed last night that he would be open to taking a hands-on role at the club under its new ownership. The Chinese consortium have offered him a role as 'Honorary President' but Berlusconi said he'd only accept if he was given a say in the transfer market.
The tribute of the Milan fans isn't even the most memorable tribute paid to Silvio. There have been many analogies drawn between Silvio Berlusconi and the President elect of the United States. The New York Times is even suggesting that liberals model their opposition to Trump on the resistence to Berlusconi in Italy.
Both are clowinsh figures with a reputation for lechery whose rise was baffling to foreigners and horrifying to the elites in their own country. But at least Silvio rose to become a billionaire from relatively ordinary beginnings. Trump's rise to great wealth reminds one of that IT Crowd joke in which the Chris Morris character announces "I started with nothing except a dream... and six million pounds."
Back during Silvio's pomp as Italian leader in the noughties, his supporters produced this intriguing video song which we feel duty bound to show you. There's a whiff of dear leader sycophancy to this.
'Thank Goodness for Enda' will be coming to a Fine Gael conference near you next year.