March 24, 2018

Fiorentina beat Benevento in emotional Davide Astori tribute match

13 March 2018, 10:40 | Sandy Nunez

Thousands gather for funeral of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori

The coffin of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori is carried into Santa Croce church ahead of a funeral service

Astori was found dead in his hotel room last Sunday morning, hours before his team were scheduled to play Udinese in a Serie A match.

In their first outing since the tragic death of their club captain, Fiorentina used Sunday's Serie A game against Benevento to pay mass tribute to the late Davide Astori.

Tributes were paid before the contest and play was stopped on 13 minutes so fans and players could applaud the ex-Italy global.

Players lined up with "Ciao Davide" slogans on their shirts before displaying a banner across the centre circle, which read: 'Captain forever'.

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Brazilian Hugo celebrated the 25th-minute goal, his first for Fiorentina, by holding up a t-shirt bearing an image of fellow defender Astori before standing in front of it and saluting.

Fiorentina midfielder Marco Benassi is sure "Davide Astori was on the field with us today and I like to think he helped Vitor Hugo's leap".

The Viola captain and Italy worldwide died in his sleep last Saturday, which led to an outpouring of grief from the football community.

Both teams hit the post in the final minutes, through Massimo Coda and new Fiorentina captain Milan Badelj.

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