Thousands of Fiorentina fans lined the streets of Florence today to pay their final respects at the funeral of their captain, Davide Astori.
Italian international Astori passed away from a cardiac arrest, aged just 31, this past weekend and was found dead in his hotel room just hours before a scheduled match against Udinese.
His death shocked the world of football, especially in Italy, and several heart-warming tributes have been paid since. Both his current side and former team Cagliari have retired the number “13” shirt in his honour, Italian league games were postponed out of respect, and matches played across Europe this week were preceded with a minute of silence.
Astori’s funeral was held on Thursday at the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence, with his family and friends joined by teammates and others from throughout football. All teams from Serie A and Serie B, as well as the Italian national team, were represented.
Beautiful scenes in Florence, as thousands of Fiorentina fans pay their respects to a beautiful man.
? RIP Davide Astori ? pic.twitter.com/ujHIDbeaUS
— Adriano Del Monte (@adriandelmonte) March 8, 2018
This is what Davide Astori meant to the people of Florence and all of Italy.
More than just a captain on the pitch ? pic.twitter.com/TJ0BztRSfi
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) March 8, 2018
Fans also got the chance to say goodbye to Astori and paid their own touching tributes.
The thousands in attendance applauded him as his coffin was carried into the service, and they sang and applauded again as he was brought out. Chants of “c’è solo un capitano”, “There’s only one captain”, echoed in emotional scenes as Astori’s coffin was placed into the back of the funeral car.
This is beautiful
Over 6000 people come together to honor Davide Astori’s life ?
— ItalianFootballTV ? (@IFTVofficial) March 8, 2018
Fiorentina fans say goodbye to their Captian?, R.I.P. Davide Astori? pic.twitter.com/BuvsVhk0G4
— ᵍʳᵃᶰᵈᵉ (@GrandeIsDead) March 8, 2018
Peter Reynolds, Pundit Arena