An estimated crowd of 8,000 fans were outside the Santa Croce basilica on Thursday morningThousands of fans and representatives of every Serie A club have gathered in Florence for the funeral of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori.The Italy global defender died at the age of 31 on Saturday after a sudden illness.Members of the Juventus squad that beat Tottenham on Wednesday night were in attendance, including Italy's national team captain Gianluigi Buffon.Astori will be buried in Bergamo, where he grew up and his parents still live.
The unexpected loss of the popular figure has plunged Italian football into mourning, with all of last Sunday's Serie A matches postponed after the tragic news emerged.
The defender, who also played 14 times for Italy, was discovered by Fiorentina staff when he failed to show up for breakfast at the hotel in Udine.
"Football is the most lovely game in the world and sadly we don't always think that". And we go to give last "ciao" together with our teammates.
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.
Fiorentina have also made a decision to retire his no.13 shirt.
Fans also got the chance to say goodbye to Astori and paid their own touching tributes.
You're the best teammate a guy can dream of having.
Astori, who started his career at AC Milan, is survived by his partner Francesca Fioretti and their two-year-old daughter.
Astori spent eight years with Cagliari from 2008 playing 179 times in all competitions before joining Fiorentina in 2016. It's important to remember men like him. Whenever I saw him in the gym, he would ask me if he could use it. He was always respectful and had a fantastic attitude. "There was none of the usual music in the dressing room".