Ciao Davide – Fiorentina fans say goodbye to Astori
The famous passion of Fiorentina supporters was plain for all to see on Thursday, as the Basilica di Santa Croce became wreathed in purple smoke and fans chanted to commemorate their late captain Davide Astori.
Approximately 8,000 members of the public gathered in the square outside the famous church in Florence, where Astori's funeral took place, while family, friends, team-mates and colleagues from across Italian football mourned the popular defender.
Astori was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday, having passed away unexpectedly at the age of 31 due to natural causes related to a heart problem.
Supporters had already been granted the opportunity to pay their respects at the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) technical centre in Coverciano, where Astori lay in repose on Wednesday.
But many of La Viola's followers were also present a day later, and Fiorentina used their official Twitter account to share a video of the emotional scenes outside the basilica.
— ACF Fiorentina (@acffiorentina) March 8, 2018
Members of the Juventus squad and coaching staff flew directly from London to attend Astori's funeral after their Champions League game away to Tottenham on Wednesday.
Retired Roma great Francesco Totti, who played alongside Astori for the Giallorossi, was among the mourners, while Milan Badelj delivered a eulogy on behalf of his Fiorentina team-mates.