Zambrotta sad to see 'iconic' Berlusconi end Milan reign

Gianluca Zambrotta hopes Milan's new owners can return the club to the glories they once enjoyed under outgoing president Silvio Berlusconi.

Former AC Milan full-back Gianluca Zambrotta is saddened by Silvio Berlusconi's sale of the Serie A club but believes the move is in line with football's global trends.

Former Italian prime minister and media tycoon Berlusconi ended his 31-year stewardship of the club on Thursday when Chinese consortium Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux completed its protracted €740million takeover.

Milan won five of their seven European titles during this period and also scooped Serie A eight times, although they have finished seventh, 10th and eighth over the past three seasons.

Vincenzo Montella's side enter Saturday's derby against Inter two points and a place above their city rivals in sixth, occupying a Europa League qualifying spot.

Juventus' sixth consecutive title appears a formality and Zambrotta, who also featured over seven seasons for the Turin giants, feels a change was inevitable.

Inter are already under Chinese ownership in the form of the Suning Group and the ex-Italy international told Omnisport: "It's sad that two iconic presidents such as [former Inter chief] Massimo Moratti and Silvio Berlusconi no longer own these two clubs, which have written the history of football.

"This makes me sad, but this is modern football and it's the result of adapting to the global trend.

"Berlusconi's legacy is made of 30 years of big wins, big champions that made history and left a mark - not only on AC Milan fans' hearts, but also in the history of football in general, in Italy and abroad."

Zambrotta added: "If I were in Berlusconi's shoes, I'd feel like having to let a son leave home and go away. It must be very hard.

"But the most important thing is that the new owners have all the means to repeat Berlusconi's wins and bring the club back to past glories."

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