Football stars across Italy and Europe have stormed the city of Florence for the burial service of Davide Astori, the Fiorentina captain who was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday.
The Italian international was found hours before his team were scheduled to play Udinese in a Serie A match.
And on Thursday, his colleagues were seen touching down at the Santa Croce church in Florence ahead of the funeral service, which started at 10 am in Italy, while hundreds of thousand fans lined the city of Florence and filled the main squares some arriving sooner than required as three hours before the memorial service began.
Giorgio Chiellini, who was in tears during a minute’s silence for Astori against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley on Wednesday night, was in attendance alongside colleagues and team boss Massimiliano Allegri.
Speaking after Juve’s Champions League triumph, Chiellini said:
“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,”
The square fell silent and fans held their Florentina scarves high up as Astori’s coffin was carried into the Santa Croce church
Thousands of Florentina fans lined the city of Florence as the hearse arrived in emotional scenes.
Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri said earlier this week:
“Now I think it’s time for silence, the thought must go to the family and especially to the little daughter who will not know her father.
“Davide will always be with me. We grew up football together, it’s a huge disappointment. “