GET IN TOUCH
 
 
 
 
 

Thousands gather for funeral of Fiorentina’s Astori [Photos]

Astori
Davide Astori's coffin leaves the church to a backdrop of purple pyro released by the thousands of Fiorentina fans in Florence

Stars from across Italian football and beyond are in Florence for the funeral of Davide Astori, the Fiorentina captain who was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday.

The 31-year-old was discovered hours before his team were scheduled to play Udinese in a Serie A match. He is believed to have died from a cardiac arrest.

His team-mates were pictured arriving at the Santa Croce church in Florence ahead of the service, which began at 10am in Italy, while thousands of fans lined the streets and filled one of the main squares, some arriving as early as three hours before the funeral started.

They lit flares which formed a moving backdrop of purple smoke as his coffin was carried out after the service, which lasted for almost two hours.

Davide Astori's coffin leaves the church to a backdrop of purple pyro released by the thousands of Fiorentina fans in Florence

Davide Astori’s coffin leaves the church with a backdrop of purple pyro released by the thousands of Fiorentina fans in Florence

People gathered by the Santa Croce church in Florence as early as three hours prior to the funeral service starting 

People gathered at the Santa Croce church in Florence as early as three hours prior to the funeral service starting 

Astori's partner Francesca Fioretti makes her way into the church in Florence on Thursday for his funeral, four days after he died

Emotional Italian national player Giorgio Chiellini is greeted by a fellow mourner as he arrives alongside his Juventus team-mates

The Fiorentina squad pictured arriving in Florence for the funeral of their captain Astori on Thursday

The coffin of Davide Astori arrives by hearse before being carried into Santa Croce church ahead of a funeral service

The square fell silent and fans held their Fiorentina scarves aloft as Astori's coffin was carried into the Santa Croce church

The square fell silent and fans held their Fiorentina scarves aloft as Astori’s coffin was carried into the Santa Croce church

Astori's funeral was attended by an array of big names from across the world of football after his shocking death

The smoke signalled the final farewell for Astori, as fans paid tribute the their captain for one last time 

The smoke signalled the final farewell for Astori, as fans paid tribute to their captain for one last time 

Astori's coffin arrived at 10am local time at the Santa Croce church in Florence where the service was held

Fiorentina fans watch on as Astori's coffin is lifted and carried into the church by pallbearers, with children in the foreground

Fiorentina fans watch on as Astori’s coffin is lifted and carried into the church by pallbearers, with children in the foreground

Astori was discovered in his hotel room on Sunday morning, hours before his team were meant to play in Italy

Astori's funeral began around 10am local time - fans lined the streets for three hours before the service started 

Astori’s funeral began around 10am local time – fans lined the streets for three hours before the service started 

The Fiorentina captain Astori died in his sleep at the team hotel ahead of a Serie A clash on Sunday with Udinese       Astori leaves behind partner, Francesca Fioretti, and their 2-year-old daughter 

As soon as the coffin was brought back out, the people in the square again raised their scarves, sang the Fiorentina anthem and chanted Astori’s name as well as ‘c’e solo un capitano’ (there’s only one captain).

Astori’s mother blew a kiss to the crowd, while the people of Florence were also thanked by his brother Marco in his eulogy.

Earlier, fans gathered by Fiorentina’s Artemio Franchi stadium and applauded loudly as Astori’s coffin was driven past. There were shouts of his name and ‘grande capitano’ (great captain), while a banner held up read: ‘Per sempre nostro capitano (forever our captain)’.

Astori, who played for Italy 14 times, leaves behind his long-term partner, Francesca Fioretti, and their two-year-old daughter. A tearful Fioretti was seen making her way into the church on Thursday morning with Astori’s family, including their daughter, Vittoria.

The Fiorentina players were met with applause when they arrived on foot, led by midfielder Milan Badelj.

‘You are the brother or the son that everyone would have wanted to have,’ Badelj said. ‘Your parents didn’t make any mistake with you, not even the tiniest bit. You’re not like others, you are football, the real one, the pure one of children.

‘Our thoughts go out to your mother and your father, to your brothers, to Francesca and to Princess Vicky. You were a man with a capital M and we will tell her. You are the light for all of us.’

tmother and father arrive at the funeral service

Astori’s mother and father arrive at the funeral service, having been earlier told of their son’s death by telephone

Astori's relatives pictured making their way to the service as thousands of onlookers pay their respects in Florence

Astori’s relatives pictured making their way to the service as thousands of onlookers pay their respects in Florence

Gianluigi Buffon acknowledges the Fiorentina supporters in attendance as he arrives for Astori's funeral

Gianluigi Buffon acknowledges the Fiorentina supporters in attendance as he arrives for Astori’s funeral

Sassuolo player Khouma El Babacar looks emotional as he arrives at the funeral    Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero puts his hands together as a sign of respect

Federico Bernardeschi of Juventus and Alessandro Florenzi of Roma arrive before Astori's funeral

Filippo Inzaghi, now manager of Venezia, arrives for Astori's funeral   Inter Milan manager Spalletti pictured at the Santa Croce church in Florence

Buffon followed the Juventus squad into the church - they flew back especially after Champions League win over Tottenham

Former Italy player and ex-Roma captain Francesco Totti makes his way into the church for Astori's funeral  Juventus manager Massimo Allegri heads into the the Santa Croce church

Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti led his side into the church in Florence ahead of the service 

Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti led his side into the church in Florence ahead of the service

 Roma and former Italy midfield player Daniele De Rossi pictured arriving to remember a former team-mate  Holland legend Marco van Basten, once of AC Milan, were there to remember Astori

Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi and Holland legend Marco van Basten, once of AC Milan, were there to remember Astori

Dario Nardella, mayor of Florence, waves at the funeral service after arriving with his wife and other local figures

Gianluigi Buffon and his Juventus team flew back from London especially for the service following the Champions League victory over Tottenham on Wednesday night.

Defender Giorgio Chiellini was visibly emotional as he made his way into church. The 33-year-old, who played at Wembley for Juve on Wednesday night, admitted afterwards that he had ‘cried many times’ since learning of Astori’s passing.

‘Tomorrow we go to give the last ‘Ciao’ together without team-mates,’ Chiellini said.

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, a team-mate of Astori at Roma, was also there, according to reports in Italy.

Venezia coach Filippo Inzaghi – best known in Italian football for his time as a player at AC Milan – was seen arriving while Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti led his side into the church.

Marco van Basten, Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi were other notable names who were there to remember Astori.

Leonardo Semplici, manager of Spal, loos somber as he approaches the church with friends

Leonardo Semplici, manager of Spal, loos somber as he approaches the church with friends

Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik arrives for the funeral ceremony alongside another player

Lazio's coach Simone Inzaghi  Emiliano Viviano of US Sampdoria

Lazio’s coach Simone Inzaghi (left) and Emiliano Viviano of US Sampdoria arrive at the funeral

President of the Italian National Olympic Committee Giovanni Malago comforts a fellow mourner

Fans lifted their scarves and others waved flags to commemorate Astori's achievements for their team 

Fans lifted their scarves and others waved flags to commemorate Astori’s achievements for their team

A banner is held aloft amid a sea of Fiorentina supporters paying their respects, reading: 'Forever our captain'

A banner is held aloft amid a sea of Fiorentina supporters paying their respects, reading: ‘Forever our captain’

A poster of Astori reading 'thank you for everything you gave' hangs over a balcony where fans gathered for the funeral

An AFC Fiorentina supporter hold a banner reading 'You'll be our captain forever' above the crowd of thousands of fans who showed up for the funeral

The crowd applauds as the coffin is carried inside the church to begin the funeral service

ASTORI CAREER

2006-08: AC Milan

2006-07: Pizzighettone (loan) – 27 games, 1 goal

2007-08: Cremonese (loan) – 33 games

2008-16: Cagliari – 179 games, 3 goals

2014-15: Roma (loan) – 30 games, 1 goal

2015-16: Fiorentina (loan) – 42 games

2016-18: Fiorentina – 67 games, 3 goals

Italy: 14 caps, 1 goal

 

Astori started his playing career in the Milan youth academy but never played a senior match for the Rossoneri, making his Serie A debut with Cagliari in 2008.

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.

Fiorentina and Cagliari, Astori’s club between 2008 and 2016, announced on Tuesday that they had retired the No 13 shirt in honour of their former player.

Fiorentina tweeted: ‘In honour of Davide Astori’s memory, Cagliari and Fiorentina have decided to retire the No 13 shirt.’

Cagliari, having changed their Twitter handle to ‘Ciao Davide’, added: ‘To honour their memory and make indelible the memory of David Astori, @acffiorentina and @CagliariCalcio have decided to jointly withdraw the jersey with the number 13.’

Fiorentina announced on Sunday morning that Astori had died following a ‘sudden illness’. All of Sunday’s Serie A fixtures were postponed and a day later, prosecutors opened a culpable homicide case over his death.

The chief prosecutor in Udine, Antonio De Nicolo, said on Monday that a culpable homicide case — which in Britain is known as manslaughter — would be opened, but that it was a formality at this stage and that ‘no one has a responsibility for anything’.

Flags bearing the football club's insignia are waved by supporters who turned up to give their captain a sendoff

Fiorentina have retired Astori's No 13 shirt - as have his former club Cagliari - after his untimely death 

Astori played for Fiorentina from 2015 - as well as Cagliari, he also played for Roma in the Italian first tier, Serie A 

Some fans went to extensive measures to catch a glimpse of Astori's coffin as fans gathered outside the Santa Cocre church

A picture of the square outside the Santa Croce church in Florence, filled with thousands of mourners for Astori 

Fiorentina supporters held up scarves in their traditional purple-and-white colours at Astori's funeral 

Mourners lined the streets around Fiorentina's stadium and applauded as Astori's coffin was driven past 

A fan watches from her window above a 'Pride of Fiorentina' banner hanging from the shutters

Source: Dailymail

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*