Thousands of mourners – among them some of the biggest names in Italian football – gathered in Florence for the funeral of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori.
The 31-year-old was found dead in his hotel room in Udine on Sunday, hours before Fiorentina were due to face Udinese in a Serie A fixture, with a preliminary autopsy on Tuesday finding cardiac arrest as the cause.
Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was present less than 24 hours after captaining Juventus to victory over Tottenham in the Champions League at Wembley, along with several of his team-mates and coach Massimiliano Allegri.
In an Instagram tribute following Astori’s death, Buffon wrote: “Your little girl, deserves to know that her father was in all respects a perfect person.
“You were the best expression of an old-fashioned world, in which values such as altruism, elegance, education and respect for others, were the masters.
“You were one of the best sporting figures in which I came across.”
Players and officials from Serie A and further afield were among those to attend the funeral at the Basilica of Santa Croce, including former Roma captain Francesco Totti and a delegation from Inter Milan led by Javier Zanetti and Luciano Spalletti.
Fiorentina and Cagliari, Astori’s club between 2008 and 2016, both retired the number 13 shirt in honour of their former player, who won 14 caps for Italy during his career.