Silvio Berlusconi: AC Monza’s Serie A ambition under ex-Italy prime minister

Silvio Berlusconi: AC Monza's Serie A ambition under ex-Italy prime minister
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi left his role as AC Milan owner after 31 years in 2017, before buying Monza in 2018

What are the former Italy prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and his old AC Milan cohort Adriano Galliani doing at AC Monza?

It’s a good question.

Situated 12 miles north-east of Milan, the city of Monza, best known for being the home of Italian Formula 1 races, now has a football team with a new-found ambition and, courtesy of the millions of euros and contacts Berlusconi brings, links to players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kaka.

Berlusconi, who oversaw five Champions League titles and eight Serie A championships as Milan owner between 1986 and 2017, and Galliani, his former chief executive at I Rossoneri, have already taken their new club from Serie C to Serie B for the first time in 19 years.

And while Berlusconi’s motivations for buying the club in the summer of 2018, just 18 months after he left Milan, are still not clear, the target is much more obvious: to take Monza to Serie A for the first time in their history.

The first step has been completed. Because of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Serie C season was suspended and Monza were awarded automatic promotion to Serie B, a tier in which they last played in 2001.

“How did I experience our feat? I made a toast at home with my daughter, since we can’t have any public celebrations at the moment. Credit to the players, coaches and managers, and also a bit to myself,” the ever humble Berlusconi, 83, said in an interview with local newspaper Cittadino di Monza.