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Soccer: After selling AC Milan, Berlusconi buys Serie C club Monza

In this May 16, 2018 file photo, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi arrives for a meeting of the EPP at a hotel in Sofia, Bulgaria. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

MILAN (AP) -- Silvio Berlusconi is back in the soccer business.

Less than 18 months after selling AC Milan, Berlusconi's family holding company Fininvest announced Friday it had acquired 100 percent of Serie C club Monza in a deal reportedly worth between 2.5 million and 3 million euros ($3 million-$3.5 million).

Former Milan vice president Adriano Galliani was nominated Monza's CEO.

"It's a romantic move, an act of love from Berlusconi and myself," Galliani said. "If we're able to get Silvio Berlusconi excited again we can do great things.

"For me it's a return home. I joined Monza in 1975 as an investor and we won the league," added Galliani, who is from Monza. "Who knows what will happen 43 years later."

With Monza located just outside Milan, Galliani noted that a Milan-Monza derby could be only two years away.

"You can't stop people from dreaming," he said. "In theory you can go from Serie C to A by July 2020."

Societa Sportiva Monza 1912, as the club is officially called, has never made it to the top division.

Under Berlusconi's ownership, Milan won 29 trophies in 31 years.

The 81-year-old Berlusconi, a three-time Italian premier, sold Milan to a Chinese-led consortium for $800 million in April 2017. U.S.-based hedge fund Elliott Management then took over control of Milan two months ago after the Chinese owner missed a deadline to repay part of a loan.

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