In pictures: Davide Astori laid to rest in Florence as football stars past and present mourn death of Italy defender

Thousands of mourners – among them some of the biggest names in Italian football – gathered in Florence for the funeral of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori.

The 31-year-old was found dead in his hotel room in Udine on Sunday, hours before Fiorentina were due to face Udinese in a Serie A fixture, with a preliminary autopsy on Tuesday finding cardiac arrest as the cause.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was present less than 24 hours after captaining Juventus to victory over Tottenham in the Champions League at Wembley, along with several of his team-mates and coach Massimiliano Allegri.

In an Instagram tribute following Astori’s death, Buffon wrote: “Your little girl, deserves to know that her father was in all respects a perfect person.

Ciao caro Asto, difficilmente ho espresso pubblicamente un pensiero riguardo una persona, perche ho sempre lasciato che la bellezza e l’unicita di rapporti, di reciproca stima e affetto, non venissero strumentalizzati o gettati in pasto a chi non ha la delicatezza per rispettare certi legami. Nel tuo caso, sento di fare un’eccezione alla mia regola, perche hai una moglie giovane e dei familiari che staranno soffrendo,ma soprattutto la tua piccola bimba, merita di sapere che il suo papa era a tutti gli effetti una PERSONA PERBENE…..una GRANDE PERSONA PERBENE….eri l’espressione migliore di un mondo antico, superato, nel quale valori come l’altruismo, l’eleganza, l’educazione e il rispetto verso il prossimo, la facevano da padroni. Complimenti davvero, sei stata una delle migliori figure sportive nella quale mi sono imbattuto. R.I.P. Il tuo folle Gigi.

A post shared by Gianluigi Buffon (@gianluigibuffon) on Mar 4, 2018 at 4:41am PST

“You were the best expression of an old-fashioned world, in which values ??such as altruism, elegance, education and respect for others, were the masters.

“You were one of the best sporting figures in which I came across.”

Players and officials from Serie A and further afield were among those to attend the funeral at the Basilica of Santa Croce, including former Roma captain Francesco Totti and a delegation from Inter Milan led by Javier Zanetti and Luciano Spaletti.

Fiorentina and Cagliari, Astori’s club between 2008 and 2016, both retired the number 13 shirt in honour of their former player, who won 14 caps for Italy during his career.

<p>Fiorentina team-mates and former Roma colleagues were among the mourners who paid their respects to the player in Florence on Thursday </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Football fans unite

Fiorentina team-mates and former Roma colleagues were among the mourners who paid their respects to the player in Florence on Thursday

<p>The coffin is carried into the church during the funeral ceremony of Italian player Davide Astori in Florence, Italy, Thursday, March 8, 2018. The 31-year-old Astori was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday after a suspected cardiac arrest before his team was set to play an Italian league match at Udinese. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino) </p>
Davide Astori funeral: The coffin is carried into the church

The coffin is carried into the church during the funeral ceremony of Italian player Davide Astori in Florence, Italy, Thursday, March 8, 2018. The 31-year-old Astori was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday after a suspected cardiac arrest before his team was set to play an Italian league match at Udinese. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

<p>Football fans hang scarves and tributes to late Fiorentina football team captain Davide Astori on the fence of the team stadium on March 7, 2018 in Florence. Italian footballer Davide Astori likely died from a cardiac arrest linked to the slowing of his heart rate following the initial results of his autopsy. Fiorentina and Astori’s former club Cagliari announced they will retire his number 13 shirt in honour of the 31-year-old Italy international, who was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday ahead of a Serie A match at Udinese. / AFP PHOTO / Filippo MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Tributes

Football fans hang scarves and tributes to late Fiorentina football team captain Davide Astori on the fence of the team stadium on March 7, 2018 in Florence. Italian footballer Davide Astori likely died from a cardiac arrest linked to the slowing of his heart rate following the initial results of his autopsy. Fiorentina and Astori’s former club Cagliari announced they will retire his number 13 shirt in honour of the 31-year-old Italy international, who was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday ahead of a Serie A match at Udinese. / AFP PHOTO / Filippo MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Fans mourn the loss of the Fiorentina skipper </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Fans mourn the loss of Fiorentina skipper

Fans mourn the loss of the Fiorentina skipper

<p>Players of Fiorentina Women’s FC arrive for the funeral ceremony of Italian player Davide Astori in Florence, Italy, Thursday, March 8, 2018. The 31-year-old Astori was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday after a suspected cardiac arrest before his team was set to play an Italian league match at Udinese. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino) </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Fiorentina Women’s FC

Players of Fiorentina Women’s FC arrive for the funeral ceremony of Italian player Davide Astori in Florence, Italy, Thursday, March 8, 2018. The 31-year-old Astori was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday after a suspected cardiac arrest before his team was set to play an Italian league match at Udinese. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

<p>Thousands of Fiorentina fans have gathered for the funeral of former captain Davide Astori. A number of famous faces from the world of Italian football were also on hand to pay their respects to the defender. </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Stars of Italian football gather to pay their respects

Thousands of Fiorentina fans have gathered for the funeral of former captain Davide Astori. A number of famous faces from the world of Italian football were also on hand to pay their respects to the defender.

<p>Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus during the funeral of Davide Astori on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images) </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Gianluigi Buffon

Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus during the funeral of Davide Astori on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

<p>Soccer Football – Davide Astori Funeral – Santa Croce, Florence, Italy – March 8, 2018 People outside the church during the funeral REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Fans outside the church pay tribute

Soccer Football – Davide Astori Funeral – Santa Croce, Florence, Italy – March 8, 2018 People outside the church during the funeral REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

<p>Soccer Football – Davide Astori Funeral – Santa Croce, Florence, Italy – March 8, 2018 Pallbearers carry the casket of Davide Astori REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Pallbearers

Soccer Football – Davide Astori Funeral – Santa Croce, Florence, Italy – March 8, 2018 Pallbearers carry the casket of Davide Astori REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

<p>Dario Nardella mayor of Florence ahead of a funeral service for Davide Astori on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. The Fiorentina captain and Italy international Davide Astori died suddenly in his sleep aged 31 on March 4th, 2018. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images) </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Dario Nardella

Dario Nardella mayor of Florence ahead of a funeral service for Davide Astori on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. The Fiorentina captain and Italy international Davide Astori died suddenly in his sleep aged 31 on March 4th, 2018. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

<p>Emiliano Viviano of US Sampdoria ahead of a funeral service for Davide Astori on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. The Fiorentina captain and Italy international Davide Astori died suddenly in his sleep aged 31 on March 4th, 2018. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images) </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Emiliano Viviano

Emiliano Viviano of US Sampdoria ahead of a funeral service for Davide Astori on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. The Fiorentina captain and Italy international Davide Astori died suddenly in his sleep aged 31 on March 4th, 2018. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

<p>Khouma Babacar of Sassuolo Calcio ahead of the funeral service on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. The Fiorentina captain and Italy international Davide Astori died suddenly in his sleep aged 31 on March 4th, 2018. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images) </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Khouma Babacar

Khouma Babacar of Sassuolo Calcio ahead of the funeral service on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. The Fiorentina captain and Italy international Davide Astori died suddenly in his sleep aged 31 on March 4th, 2018. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

<p>Juventus boss Max Allegri arrives at the funeral in Florence. </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Massimiliano Allegri

Juventus boss Max Allegri arrives at the funeral in Florence.

<p>Diego Della Valle of ACF Fiorentina and Matteo Renzi during the funeral of Davide Astori on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images) </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Diego Della Valle

Diego Della Valle of ACF Fiorentina and Matteo Renzi during the funeral of Davide Astori on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

<p>Francesca Fioretti, companion of Davide Astori, on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images) </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Francesca Fioretti

Francesca Fioretti, companion of Davide Astori, on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

<p>Alessandro Costacurta sub commiser of FIGC ahead of a funeral service for Davide Astori on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. The Fiorentina captain and Italy international Davide Astori died suddenly in his sleep aged 31 on March 4th, 2018. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images) </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Alessandro Costacurta

Alessandro Costacurta sub commiser of FIGC ahead of a funeral service for Davide Astori on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. The Fiorentina captain and Italy international Davide Astori died suddenly in his sleep aged 31 on March 4th, 2018. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

<p>Former Fiorentina player Cyprian Tatarusanu arrives to pay tribute to Astori. </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Cyprian Tatarusanu

Former Fiorentina player Cyprian Tatarusanu arrives to pay tribute to Astori.

<p>Fans gather ahead of a funeral service for Davide Astori on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. The Fiorentina captain and Italy international Davide Astori died suddenly in his sleep aged 31 on March 4th, 2018. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images) </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Fans

Fans gather ahead of a funeral service for Davide Astori on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. The Fiorentina captain and Italy international Davide Astori died suddenly in his sleep aged 31 on March 4th, 2018. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

<p>Damiano Tommasi ahead of a funeral service for Davide Astori on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. The Fiorentina captain and Italy international Davide Astori died suddenly in his sleep aged 31 on March 4th, 2018. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images) </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Damiano Tommasi

Damiano Tommasi ahead of a funeral service for Davide Astori on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. The Fiorentina captain and Italy international Davide Astori died suddenly in his sleep aged 31 on March 4th, 2018. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

<p>General view ahead of a funeral service for Davide Astori on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. The Fiorentina captain and Italy international Davide Astori died suddenly in his sleep aged 31 on March 4th, 2018. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images) </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Tributes to Astori

General view ahead of a funeral service for Davide Astori on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. The Fiorentina captain and Italy international Davide Astori died suddenly in his sleep aged 31 on March 4th, 2018. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

<p>Khouma Babacar arrives for the funeral ceremony of Italian player Davide Astori in Florence, Italy, Thursday, March 8, 2018. The 31-year-old Astori was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday after a suspected cardiac arrest before his team was set to play an Italian league match at Udinese. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino) </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Khouma Babacar arrives

Khouma Babacar arrives for the funeral ceremony of Italian player Davide Astori in Florence, Italy, Thursday, March 8, 2018. The 31-year-old Astori was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday after a suspected cardiac arrest before his team was set to play an Italian league match at Udinese. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

<p>Relatives arrive for the funeral ceremony of Italian player Davide Astori in Florence, Italy, Thursday, March 8, 2018. The 31-year-old Astori was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday after a suspected cardiac arrest before his team was set to play an Italian league match at Udinese. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino) </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Relatives arrive

Relatives arrive for the funeral ceremony of Italian player Davide Astori in Florence, Italy, Thursday, March 8, 2018. The 31-year-old Astori was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday after a suspected cardiac arrest before his team was set to play an Italian league match at Udinese. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

<p>Former premier and Democratic Party president Matteo Renzi, center, arrives with Fiorentina owner Diego Della Valle, for the funeral ceremony of Italian player Davide Astori in Florence, Italy, Thursday, March 8, 2018. The 31-year-old Astori was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday after a suspected cardiac arrest before his team was set to play an Italian league match at Udinese. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino) </p>
Davide Astori funeral: Matteo Renzi

Former premier and Democratic Party president Matteo Renzi, center, arrives with Fiorentina owner Diego Della Valle, for the funeral ceremony of Italian player Davide Astori in Florence, Italy, Thursday, March 8, 2018. The 31-year-old Astori was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday after a suspected cardiac arrest before his team was set to play an Italian league match at Udinese. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

<p>Davide Astori funeral service in Florence on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images) </p>
Davide Astori funeral

Davide Astori funeral service in Florence on March 8, 2018 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

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