Thousands gather for funeral of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori

Fiorentina fans gather ahead of a funeral service for captain Davide Astori

Fiorentina fans gather ahead of a funeral service for captain Davide Astori

Video screens played images of the Italy defender and the mascots wore either Fiorentina or Cagliari shirts - the latter being one of Astori's former clubs.

Davide Astori was given a rousing tribute from adoring Fiorentina fans and players ahead of their Serie A showdown with Benevento.

Fiorentina have secured a 1-0 win over Benevento in the club's first match since the tragic passing of Davide Astori.

Both sets of supporters stayed nearly completely silent for five minutes in a respectful and moving tribute to Astori, with Fiorentina coach Stefano Pioli struggling to hold back his emotions as the overwhelming occasion saw him shed a tear on the incredibly hard day.

Fans in the stands held messages and banners and chanted "one captain, there's only one captain!".

The match was then halted 13 minutes in as the entire Stadio Artemio Franchi rose to applaud their fallen comrade as his name and number were proudly cheered by everybody inside the ground.

Vitor Hugo, the player who replaced Astori in the starting lineup, scored the only goal of the match in the 25th minute, leaping high to head in Riccardo Saponara's corner.

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