Croatian Footballer Milan Badelj Delivers Touching Eulogy at Teammate Davide Astori's Funeral

by Olga Hunt March 10, 2018, 1:47
Croatian Footballer Milan Badelj Delivers Touching Eulogy at Teammate Davide Astori's Funeral

Thousands of fans and representatives of every Serie A club turned out on Thursday for the funeral of former Fiorentina captain and Italian global Davide Astori, who died suddenly at the age of 31 last weekend.

Astori's funeral took place in Florence today and an estimated crowd of 8,000 mourners gathered outside the Santa Croce basilica to pay their respects.

As Astori's coffin was driven past the Stadio Artemio Franchi, Fiorentina fans chanted "grande capitano" (great captain). Totti and Salah were former teammates of Astori at Roma.

All of Sunday's seven Serie A games were postponed as a result and tributes from across the footballing world poured in for the defender, who won 14 caps for Italy.

Astori leaves a wife and a two-year-old daughter.

"Genuine compliments, you were one of the best sporting figures I ever came up against".

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And on Thursday, Croatia global Badelj eloquently expressed the pain the Fiorentina squad will feel at the absence of their captain.

"Astori was a great player on and off the pitch", said Gattuso, who spend 13 years at Milan as a player.

"How can we forget your laughter, your sense of humour?"

Those words seemed strangely appropriate for Davide Astori, as supporters fought through their sadness to forever honour a man whose smile and courage - both as a Captain and as a man - provided light for all those around him.

Astori started out in the Milan youth academy but never played a senior match for the Rossoneri, making his Serie A debut with Cagliari in 2008. I didn't know Davide personally, but my Fiorentina friends had always drawn a splendid picture of him. "When the bad news of the death of our captain arrived, I had the same reaction you all did: I was shocked, without words". He was always respectful and had a fantastic attitude.

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