The passing of Silvio Berlusconi represents the loss of a huge character in Italian history. He was an incredible entrepreneur, a hugely committed politician and a wonderful communicator. He was so successful in the football world too. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the end of the 1970s when he came up with the idea a city within a city (Milano 2) and started venturing into the world of telecommunications. Within a few years, he created the biggest and most innovative private television network in Italy, rolling out three news programmes that provided his initial gateway into the world of politics, culminating in three tenures as Italian prime minister. He was also the brains behind a successful and spectacular brand of football over many years, helping Italian clubs excel on the European stage. The film company Medusa allowed him to make a huge impact on Italian cinema. Berlusconi spent four decades at the heartbeat of an ever-growing and developing Italy and Europe.
I remember him always being kind, funny and particularly driven. We often spoke about a range of topics and also talked only recently. I send my deepest condolences to his whole family.
Aurelio De Laurentiis