By 90Min
March 08, 2018

Davide Astori has been given a fitting send off by thousands of mourners after the Fiorentina and Italy defender passed away last weekend.

The former centre-back died on Saturday after a short illness to the shock of the football world, and his funeral - which took place on Thursday - was impeccably observed by all in attendance.

Thousands of Fiorentina fans lined the streets of Florence as they honoured Astori with applause, scarves, flowers and banners showing exactly what he meant to them.

And many more were present at the Basilica di Santa Croce as Astori's hearse passed through the square to chants of 'grande capitano' which translates to 'great captain', according to the Telegraph.

The funeral was attended by the 31-year-old's teammates and staff, as well as those who he knew from his time with the Azzurri, Cagliari, AC Milan and Roma.

Members of the Juventus team that beat Tottenham 2-1 in their Champions League tie on Wednesday night flew out after the game, with the likes of Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini determined to show up and pay tribute to one of their closest friends.

Chiellini gave an emotional interview about Astori in the wake of I Bianconeri's triumph over Spurs as he dedicated the victory to his former colleague.

(You may also be interested in Autopsy Findings Determine Davide Astori's Death the Result of Cardiac Arrest Ahead of Funeral)

He had said: "We dedicate the win to him. He is on our minds on this day. I cried many times. He was a fantastic player. It was very difficult during the match because we had to think of the game and the outcome, and it's not easy. But he's always in our heart."

Italian prosecutors had opened a criminal investigation into the causes behind Astori's passing, but a verdict of death by natural causes was returned.

Astori played 109 times for I Viola and had 14 caps for the senior Italian national team. His shirt number - 13 - has since been retired by Fiorentina and Cagliari as a mark of respect.

He will be buried in Bergamo where he grew up and where his parents still reside. He leaves his wife Francesca Fioretti and two-year-old daughter.

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