Former Fiorentina captain Davide Astori's funeral


"He has always been and will always be a Florentine", said the city's archbishop, Cardinal Giuseppe Betori.

"I cried many times".

Astori tragically passed away last weekend from a suspected cardiac arrest as Fiorentina prepared for their league match against Udinese, sending the world of football into shock and a flood of tributes for the Italian from fellow players, clubs and football supporters from across the world.

Fiorentina's senior side, youth squad and women's team were present at the service, joined by former team-mates including Totti, Giuseppe Rossi and Alessandro Florenzi.

Among the stars who travelled to Florence for the Fiorentina captain's funeral were Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini and Gianluigi Buffon. "Davide, you are simple, direct, pragmatic", said the Viola midfielder. You always spoke with your heart, keeping us united - inciting us older players and indicating the way to the youngsters.

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"Your parents didn't make any mistake with you, not even the tiniest bit". You would be a son or brother that every one of us would like to have if we could choose. I hope we never forget him. You [as a] "world famous designer and footballer in your free time", as you loved to define yourself. In reality, you are football, the pure kind played by children.

"Our thoughts go to your family, to Francesca and to princess Victoria". It will be the task of those around her to tell her who her father was, Davide, a Man with a capital M. Behold, you are the light for us. Playing just three days after the funeral will be unusual for us and for them.

Pochettino has first-hand experience of a similarly tragic event.

Incredible scenes in Florence as thousands of fans sing "one captain" at Davide Astori's funeral. "We fight everywhere with courage and valour".