MX23RW : Sunday, December 16 11:34:19

Fiorentina, Benevento to remember Davide Astori at Stadio Artemio Franchi

Fiorentina, Benevento to remember Astori
© Offside
Fiorentina face Benevento on Sunday in the first match at the Stadio Artemio Franchi since Davide Astori's death last week.

Fiorentina face Benevento on Sunday in the first match at the Stadio Artemio Franchi since Davide Astori's death last week.

The former Viola captain passed away in his sleep last Saturday, with this weekend's match expected to be a sombre occasion of remembrance.

Astori's funeral took place in Florence on Thursday, with representatives from all Serie A clubs in attendance. Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini, who paid an emotional tribute to the late defender after his side's Champions League victory in midweek, was there as the crowd chanted "There's only one captain".

Ahead of the match, Fiorentina manager Stefano Piolo said that Astori was a "generous" and "altruistic" character, while also praising the club's fans for their response to the player's passing.

"The first thought goes to Davide, who I was fortunate enough to know over the last few months. He was special as both a person and a captain," the manager told reporters. "He always found the right way and time to say things. He was generous, positive, altruistic. Unfortunately, I didn't get to spend much time with him and I'll miss him. I miss him every day I step on to that training ground.

"Our fans have a huge heart. I wanted to hug each and every one of them to console them and let them console us, so together we could find the strength to go on. We thank the whole football world, because such participation and solidarity is certainly down to Davide, but also means that there are still principles and values in a world that at times is described differently.

"Our club owners again showed their sensitivity and did everything possible to help the team. We are crying and suffering, because Davide was our reference point, but we know what to do in order to honour his memory."

Fiorentina have the chance to consolidate a spot in the top half of the table against their bottom-club opponents.


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The coffin of Fiorentina skipper Davide Astori is carried at his funeral on March 8, 2018
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