Mercoledì, 19 Settembre 2018
FLORENCE

>>>ANSA/ Soccer: Astori laid to rest in Florence

English
© ANSA

(By Denis Greenan).
Florence, March 8 - Late Fiorentina captain Davide
Astori was laid to rest in Florence on Thursday.
Astori, 31, died of a heart attack ahead of Fiorentina's
match at Udinese on Sunday, which was later cancelled along with
all other Serie A and B fixtures.
About a thousand people gathered at Fiorentina's stadium to
see Astori's funeral cortege wind around the ground before
heading off to the funeral in the basilica of Santa Croce, where
some 10,000 people had crammed the church and square outside it.
Sports Minister Luca Lotti, Italian Olympic Committee (CONI)
chief Giovanni Malagò, Italian Soccer Federation (FIGC)
Commissioner Roberto Fabbricini and ex-premier Matteo Renzi, a
former Florence mayor, were among those in the church along with
delegations from Serie A clubs.
Marco Van Basten, Gianlugi Buffon, Francesco Totti and
Massimiliano Allegri were among the others present to pay their
respects.
As the hearse stopped in front of the Franchi Stadium, there
was a long and loud round of applause and many tears from the
fans present.
The father of Astori's partner Francesca Fioretti had a bad
turn in Santa Croce and had to be stretchered out to an
ambulance.
He was later said to have recovered.
Florence Archbishop Giuseppe Betori said Astori's life, "cut
short by a mysterious illness", "calls all of us to take care
of the lives of others, above all the weakest and the poorest
among us".
"We have discovered with admiration the work the captain did
for the children of the Meyer Children's Hospital in Florence,
and for children in far-off countries".
"But the testimony of his younger teammates were no less
significant, who felt welcomed, supported and guided by him",
Betori said in his homily.
Astori's teammate, Croatian midfielder Milan Badelj, read a
long farewell letter on behalf of the team.
"Thank you Davide, you our are light, you are the pure
football of children, the son and brother we would all like to
have," the letter said.
"You didn't know foreign languages but you communicated with
everyone because you spoke from the heart - and that is a gift
of a few elect."
During the funeral ceremony, the choir of Florence's famed
Maggio Musicale sang.
As the coffin left the church, the fans sang "there's only
one captain, there's only one captain".
Astori's brother Marco said in tears: "all these people have
shown how much they loved him".
Renzi said "Ciao captain, all of Florence embraces you".
Fabbricini, the FIGC commissioner appointed after Italian
soccer failed to agree on a new president after Carlo Tavecchio
quit following Italy's failure to qualify for the World Cup for
the first time since 1958, said:
"We'll try to do all we can to remember him".
He said this would take place "gradually, because we don't
want to impinge on the family's grief, because it's a very
particular time.
"We're suffering, just think of how they must be feeling".
Fabbricini said "Astori's humility and simplicity must make
us all think.
"Football is the most beautiful game in the world and sadly
we don't always think that. Certain things are really useful for
all".
Malagò, the CONI chief, said "we must take forward his values
in all the world of sport".
CONI controls all sport in Italy.
Astori's death shocked fans and players in Italy, where
stringent rules require professional athletes to undergo
examinations every six months.

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