How Important Was Football in the Rise of Silvio Berlusconi?
With the rise of any individual, there is a fascinating story behind it. They are either born with a silver spoon in their mouths, or they strived hard to reach their goals and aspirations. The latter was the success story of Italy’s former Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi. Born to a middle-class family and armed with persistence, he worked his way up in becoming one of the wealthiest business tycoons and an influential politician.
As he ascended to prosperity, his name became continuously tied to football. So the key question is: how did football mark his success, particularly in politics? According to Getters, he is a genuine football enthusiast and adores the Rossoneri, not as a proprietor, but rather as a fan (2009). He appreciates the game, glorifies their victory, but empathizes with them upon defeat. As mentioned by Mondal, when Berlusconi assumed AC Milan on February 20, 1986, to recuperate it from bankruptcy, many sneered because of the fact that Milan was going through a rough time and it was unprofitable (2009). However, it earned victory both in Italy and Europe.
Berlusconi found an approach to make use of AC Milan’s success to be politically inclined. As stated by Ducksbury in 2015, Berlusconi made his fortunes through his media company Mediaset. Soon after he had bought Milan, he used his channels to brazenly endorse his club. When he entered politics, he frequently became visible on sports shows, but opted to address political subjects rather than football. He formed his own political party, Forza Italia, which was a famous terrace chant, and then Berlusconi was voted prime minister in 1994. This marked his journey into politics.
Football turned out to be Berlusconi’s stepping stone to achieve his political goals. His rise and fall may be attributed to the world of political affairs, but his name will be eternally inclined toward the realm of football.
Ducksbury, C. (2015, April 7). Shoe salesmen, helicopters and politics: Silvio Berlusconi’s 7 wildest moments in Italian football. Retrieved September 25, 2018, from https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/silvio-berlusconi-7-wildest-moments-5470709.
Getters, R. (2009, August 6). Silvio Berlusconi: More than just the club owner, a true AC Milan fan. Retrieved September 25, 2018, from https://bleacherreport.com/articles/231224-silvio-berlusconi-more-than-just-the-club-owner-a-true-ac-milan-fan.
Mondal, S. (2009, March 26). Calcio debate: How Silvio Berlusconi mixed Milan & politics. Retrieved September 25, 2018, from http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2009/03/26/1176286/calcio-debate-how-silvio-berlusconi-mixed-milan-politics.
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