Thousands of Fiorentina supporters gathered to pay an emotion-filled farewell to captain Davide Astori today, following his tragic death on Sunday.
Astori died from a suspected cardiac arrest ahead of Fiorentina’s Serie A match against Udinese at the weekend, a loss which has shook Italian football to it’s very foundations.
And while the 31-year-old may have spent just three years as a Viola player, the scenes from Florence today show that every supporter took the Italy international to their heart.
As Astori’s coffin was carried to the hearse, thousands of Fiorentina supporters can be seen at the Basilica di Santa Croce, applauding and shouting the defender’s name:
Thousands of Fiorentina fans gathered today to pay their final respects and saying goodbye to their captain. Rest in Peace Davide Astori! pic.twitter.com/oHasmIMZmV
— Casual Ultra (@thecasualultra) March 8, 2018
One of Astori’s former team-mates, Milan Badelj addressed the crowd shortly after the Fiorentina players arrived.
“You are the brother or the son that everyone would have wanted to have.
“Your parents didn’t make any mistake with you, not even the tiniest bit.
“You’re not like others, you are football, the real one, the pure one of children.”
Fiorentina and Cagliari have both retired the number 13 shirt formerly worn by Astori in honour of the defender.