He was the president of the Immortals, the Invincibles and the Amazing Ones. He oversaw titles, Ballon d'Or wins and records. He was a president full of life, with AC Milan at heart. The Rossoneri fans loved him, his sporting opponents respected him. Silvio Berlusconi and his helicopter, Silvio Berlusconi and his vision.
He planned and brought together squads with a wealth of options so as to compete on all fronts, he desired and dreamed of playing attacking football at home and away, and he always held to the idea that one's opponent is an integral part of sport. He never made himself an enemy of anybody but was a fierce competitor, who required his opponents to be at the top of their game. He was not to be beaten with clenched fists. His vision of football was a game pleasing to the eye and soul, not dedicated to madness and violence. He always showed others that this was the way. He was the Presidentissimo of Italian football.
"Silvio, Milano loves you". That was the welcome from the fans that greeted him 37 years ago, when AC Milan were suffering, languishing, at risk of a worse fate. And he responded with that courageous, infectious smile. He made a lot of significant and very brave investments. He smiled in victory and in defeat. He brought first-place and podium finishes to AC Milan, though he was always gracious when the title went elsewhere.
Now, it's time for the great, unforgettable Cavaliere to take his final journey. On either side of the path, there will be a guard of honour from fans and directors, from coaches and players. His father Luigi will be waiting up there for him, as will Rosa, his mother. They will already be receiving him with a warm embrace and telling him how football fans are applauding him. No ifs, no buts, no maybes. Everyone united in applause, just as he would have wanted. Silvio, you are still loved here.