'Ciao Asto' - emotional Florence farewell for Astori

The Fiorentina captain Astori died in his sleep at the team hotel ahead of a Serie A clash on Sunday with Udinese

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 worldwide 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. Juventus Captain Gianluigi Buffon, Mattia De Sciglio, Claudio Marchisio, Miralem Pjanić and Daniele Rugani paid their respects to the Viola Captain.

The Daily Mail reports that Venezia coach Filippo Inzaghi, Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti, former Roma star Francesco Totti and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah also attended the service.

Today the Bandiere were there in Santa Croce once again, however this time they would represent Florence for a much more sombre occasion.

Astori, the captain of local team Fiorentina, was found dead in his hotel room in Udine on Sunday morning, a post-mortem on Tuesday confirming that the 31-year-old had suffered an unexpected cardiac arrest linked to the slowing of his rate.

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"It's very hard during the match because we have to think of the game and our opponents". On Instagram, Buffon wrote: "You were the best expression of an old-fashioned world". You are football, the pure one of children.

Fiorentina and Astori's former club Cagliari have said they will retire his number 13 shirt in his honour.

The father of Astori's partner Francesca Fioretti had a bad turn in Santa Croce and had to be stretchered out to an ambulance.

At the San Siro tonight Milan will play Arsenal in the Europa League and a minute's silence will be held. "He is a great example for all young men". I didn't know Davide personally, but my Fiorentina friends had always drawn a splendid picture of him. He was always respectful and had a fantastic attitude. "The told me that he was always busy with chartibale tasks in the dressing room without talking about it. Davide was completely exemplary".

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