ibusinesslines.com March 18, 2018

Fans & players say goodbye to Fiorentina captain Astori

09 March 2018, 01:18 | Jodi Jackson

Thousands gather for the funeral of Italian footballer Davide Astori

Davide Astori funeral: stars of Italian football gather to pay their respects

Juventus' Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon celebrate victory at Wembley Stadium. He said everyone who remembered Astori would tell his two-year daughter Vittoria that he had been a man with a capital "M".

His body was found only minutes before the teams were to kick off, prompting the postponement of all matches across Italy.

And on Thursday, Croatia global Badelj eloquently expressed the pain the Fiorentina squad will feel at the absence of their captain.

Children wearing Fiorentina's distinctive purple formed a guard of honour outside the Santa Croce basilica in the city as Astori's coffin was carried out after the service.

A huge crowd had gathered outside as Davide Astori's hearse arrivedAnother of Astori's former sides, AC Milan, are in action later on Thursday when they host Arsenal in the Europa League.

"You are the brother or the son that everyone would have wanted to have", said Fiorentina midfielder Milan Badelj in a message on behalf of the club during the service.

Our thoughts go to your mother, father, Bruno, Marco, Francesca and Princess Victoria.

Gabriele Maltinti  GettyImages
Gabriele Maltinti GettyImages

"We live in a world where you often have to be hypocritical to be appreciated by people".

There are likely to be more emotional scenes when Fiorentina play their first game since the tragedy when they face Benevento at home on Sunday.

Fellow internationals Daniele De Rossi and Mario Balotelli were also among players present and the entire Fiorentina team, dressed in sober dark suits and ties, came to pay their respects.

He spent six years at the Sardinian club before loan spells at Roma and Fiorentina, where he was signed on a permanent basis in 2016.

Juve and Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini, who was superb against Spurs, dedicated the victory to his global teammate.

Fiorentina and Cagliari have retired Astori's No. 13 shirt, while the head of the Italian Olympic committee said he will talk with Astori's family to plan on how best to commemorate him.

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