Adriano Galliani, football as a passion

In the name of passion, father and mother.

Don’t call him condor. Woe betide reducing him to the nickname of a glossy magazine and confining his love of football to his managerial career. Why Adriano Galliani lives sport out of an existential, instinctive impulse, who was born as a child when his mother accompanied him first to church and then to the stadium to cheer on Monza. A Sunday commitment that was already solemn and therefore sacred at the time, at a time when little Adriano was running away from his parents to watch the World Cup final, pedaling at breakneck speed to imitate Ercole Baldini, or, once he had his licence, Olimpia Milano reached all aboard his sixteenth century and consistently supported it in his “Ultra” way.

All sports inspire him, but his most famous passion, football, leads him to Vice-President of Monza in 1975; The turning point came in 1979 when he partnered with Her broadcast Silvio Berlusconi, on one condition: “I can work day and night but when Monza is playing I have to follow them». The two give the floor and it is the beginning of a story about football and politics, about business and men; more than a collaboration, a noble, feudal relationship, between the knight and the one who will always be his squire.

From 1986, after his appointment as Milan general manager, he stayed with the Rossoneri, as he says, “on loan” for thirty-one years; Until, in 2018, during a lunch in Arcore, Berlusconi accepted his proposal to buy Monza and entrusted the negotiations to him: «Adriano go, you do that». Within hours, Galliani completes the negotiations and can go home: he’s doing it because he has to, because he keeps going back and because he harbors a desire bigger than himself, a long-unspoken promise. The fourteen-year-old returns to the void and sighs:

«Monza was rediscovered my mum» he says and is touched.

Because Adriano Galliani’s football is an intimate and profound ideal, more passionate than entrepreneurial, which always puts humanity over methodism. From the Champions League night in Marseille when he entered the field withdraw the teamwhich he spent in mid-August screaming at his real estate agent’s office on the Costa Smeralda, asking him to find a way to get faxes from San Paolo to Kakà, of which there are many Galliani’s skillful and extreme remediesable to lock Gattuso in the trophy room to re-motivate him after the defeat in Istanbul, or invade Ibrahimovic’s house (to buy him for a third of the market value, among other things) without notifying anyone and the player to admonish categorically : «I’m not leaving until you sign».

A very personal approach at the same time rational and unprejudicedsuggested bringing Matteo Pessina back to Monza, who is desperately wanted as captain: “I call him and tell him “We got promoted to Serie A” and hang up the phone». A career full of phenomena and phenomenal negotiations (just think of the exchange of Guglielminpietro and the Paparazzi Coco for Pirlo and Seedorf), albeit with some regret, such as the failed signings of the very young Del Piero and Cristiano Ronaldo, or the sensationally failed negotiations for Baggio in 1990 and more recently Carlos Tevez.

But in dealing with his “strokes” Galliani gets into ecstasy through the storytelling Mark Van Bastenidol worshiped by Carmelo Bene: «Even today, when I see him, I kneel down, it’s like seeing the Madonna».

Devout Catholic and penitent, «cowardly like those sailors who pray to God in the storm» Adriano Galliani really prays to the Madonna, especially since he felt his faith strengthened again after the Corona crisis. «I’ve always been a believer, but I attend church more than I used to and pray more». In the stadium, after an hour of play, he leaves the stands to go to church: “At halftime I run out of the stadium and seek refuge In Monza Cathedral, phone off. I only go out after the final whistle; When we beat Juve, an acolyte warned me».

Experience sport as a trend and how spheromachy“To quote Arpino, Adriano Galliani must cast out fears, refine passion, look up and pray to the Madonna.”for bad, but also for good, because we always need it». And why from not only field Man lives (from sport), but also from transcendence, not only from numbers and algorithms, but also from sensitivity, prayers, faith.

For Adriano Galliani, soccer is one of them striving for existenceintimate and solemn like Sundays with his mother, hectic like his kicking as a child and like his celebrations today: “When we score goals, it hits me like a punch in the heart and I can’t help it: Dr. Tavana gave me many drops of En, a sedative, because I couldn’t handle the emotion. i am boyish». And indeed, his story, both sporting and business, is human through and through:

«I can’t I surrender to a life without emotions», he explains after half a century of career, 90 transfer markets and 30 trophies, including 8 Scudettos, 5 (!) European Cups and 3 Club World Cups.

And it is surprising how, after so many years at the highest level in such a world, you still block Sarri’s commitment to the Milan bench due to an excess of loyalty: “I changed my mind when I read that he had declared: Renzi is even worse than Berlusconi. So we took Mihajlovic». Faithful at all times and more realistic than the king, this Berlusconi, who for his part has always signed contracts with his networks, his newspapers, his publishing people who have become rich by writing (also) against him. But not for Adriano, such words to «the friend, the lord of it all, the person who changed my life for over 43 yearsThey could not pass the cavalry.


Because with all his triumphs, in all the top teams – from the Milan of the Netherlands to Ancelotti to the eleventh Monza in Serie A – Above all is the heart, its drumto lead him into a career not fueled by business cynicism but, as he affirms, “just out of passion“. For example, when he confessed that his hand trembled when he tried to sell Kakà to Real Madrid: “When I signed it, I really cried. My friend Florentino Perez was disappointed: Adriano, if you want, we can cancel everything. But now we could no longer afford certain costs».

Or when he spoke of Real when he met his idol Di Stefano: “He represented Real Madrid and Milan in the Champions League draw; that got me excited. Then, as she grabbed my arm to get up, I thought of my mother and tears welled up in my eyes». Just for that a simple print that has lost god, father and mother between budgets, statistics and “Bombs” of the market, as Condor can call it. As if it were just a cynical and calculated bouncing into the balloon sky, waiting for the prey and the last chance to pounce on it.

This is Days of the Condor, a homage to a great Sydney Pollack film and again an adaptation of the James Grady novel. Individual days, however, in a whole existence. And if Galliani wrote football history, it’s because of that It is above all a great love story – and only for that an executive epic. A desperate love, youthful, childish, absolute and never satisfied, not content with trophies or awards. A constant quest and a youth disease, that of football, that lasts a lifetime. Everyone is waiting for the final chapter, implacable for everyone, humble and powerful.

“I hope that there is life after death that will end my search. Because all my life I’ve done itsearched forTheremy mother».

Adriano Galliani, May 2023

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