Silvio Berlusconi names Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi as his favourite Milan players of the past.
The Rossoneri patron has owned the club since 1986, and in a new biography, ‘My Way’, serialised in Gazzetta dello Sport, he names his favourite players from the past.
“Of the former players, from when I began my mission with Milan, Maldini and Baresi are especially in my heart,” Berlusconi admits.
“The Milan style is proper conduct, always, on and off the pitch. It means respect for your opponents, avoiding overreactions, and staying calm whatever happens.
“The way you present yourself also matters. These days, for example, there are players covered in tattoos or with strange hairstyles.
“In my day - and I’m sad to use that expression - I’d even control the knot on a player’s tie before he went up to speak on television.
“You see, I’m from another generation. The truth is I can’t stand tattoos, piercings and extravagant hairstyles.
“I’d like it if my Milan could return to the elegance and style which have always been part of its history.”
Berlusconi also reflected on Milan’s first European Cup win in 1989, albeit using a perhaps unfortunate comparison.
“That game in Barcelona [against Steaua Bucharest] was the first international victory of my Milan. We played an extraordinary game, and at that time Milan seemed like the best team in the world, with an almost perfect way of playing.
“The stadium [Camp Nou] was wonderful that evening, and it was great at the end with everyone in the stands cheering, lit up by thousands and thousands of lights.
“It was a haven of stars that lasted all night.
“When we got to the hotel, I looked out to the balcony to make a speech. I felt like a young Mussolini, because the Milan fans wanted to storm the balcony to celebrate the win.
“In any case, it was my first European Cup, and it will remain not just in my heart, but in the hearts of all those who love Milan.”