Sunday, 24 June, 2018

Thousands gather for Italy's global Davide Astori funeral

Davide Astori funeral: stars of Italian football gather to pay their respects Thousands gather for the funeral of Italian footballer Davide Astori
Troy Mann | 09 March, 2018, 14:49

The 31-year-old was suspected to have died from cardiac arrest, and in the wake of the news all Serie A matches were postponed.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was present less than 24 hours after captaining Juventus to victory over Tottenham in the Champions League at Wembley, along with several of his team-mates and coach Massimiliano Allegri.

A popular figure at his former clubs, including AC Milan, Cagliari and Roma, Astori's unexpected passing has prompted emotional tributes to be offered by the likes of Juventus and Italy great Gianluigi Buffon.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino said he was devastated over the death of Fiorentina captain and Italy global Davide Astori, saying he tried to sign him while manager of Southampton.

"He has always been and will always be a Florentine", Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, the city's archbishop, said during his homily. You are not like everyone else; you are the one that even if you did not know the languages well you managed to talk to all of us, speaking with the heart and keeping us united.

Thousands gather for the Fiorentina captain's funeral. Image PA Images
Thousands gather for the Fiorentina captain's funeral. Image PA Images

"I want to send all my condolences to Davide Astori and all the people that love him and I think it's a massive tragedy", Pochettino told reporters.

On Sunday, vice-captain Badelj will lead the team against Benevento, Fiorentina's first match since Astori's death.

"You are the brother or the son that everyone would have wanted to have". Having you at our side makes us feel safe, thinking, "it's okay because Davide is here". I hope we never forget him. One that people have left behind, and which was governed by values like altruism, elegance, politeness and respect toward others.

Our thoughts go to your mother, father, Bruno, Marco, Francesca and Princess Victoria. "You are a man, with a capital 'M.' When you arrived in the physiotherapist's room in the morning, it was you who switched on the light because you are the light for all of us". You are this for all of us; you are light.

Indeed, as the Captain was carried out of the church in his coffin with a guard of honour formed by children from the youth sector, the fans raised their scarves aloft and let off a myriad of flares as they sang their anthem in unison.

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