Silvio Berlusconi has been hailed as a revolutionary by Arrigo Sacchi, as the 79-year-old appears to move closer to relinquishing ownership of AC Milan.
It has been reported that a takeover of the San Siro club by Chinese investors is on the brink of being completed, which would end Berlusconi’s 30-year spell at the helm.
Former Italy coach Sacchi
had two spells at Milan under Berlusconi’s reign and he has lauded the former Italian prime minister’s influence on football.
“His introduction into the world of football was like an avalanche hitting a pond,” Sacchi, who led Italy to the 1994 World Cup final, told Gazzetta World.
“Things were calm at the end of the 1980s, but Silvio was ahead of everyone. I recently ate with Frank Rijkaard and he said he was recently in talks with Marco van Basten. They said Milan were 10 years ahead of everyone and I said they were wrong – we were 20 years ahead.
“Berlusconi brought things that were unimaginable to Italian football at that time and he will be missed.
“Berlusconi and [vice-president] Adriano Galliani brought Italian football forward. There are people that won’t admit that, but some things can’t be forgotten.
“The goal was to win, be convincing and be entertaining. [Juventus chief executive officer] Giuseppe Marotta confirmed things are different at Juventus as they are missing two verbs: they only care about winning.”
Regarding the proposed takeover, Sacchi added: “Until I see that it is official I won’t believe it. If he does sell the team, it’s because he believes it is the right time to leave his creation.”
Milan missed out on European football for a third consecutive season after finishing seventh in Serie A in 2015-16, while they were also beaten in the Coppa Italia final by Juventus.