Players and fans unite to pay emotional farewell to Fiorentina captain Davide Astori
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.
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.
Italian prosecutors have suggested his death was due to a suspected cardiac arrest by natural causes.
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.
Fiorentina fans held up club scarves as Astori's body arrived at the Basilica di Santa Croce.
Fans fell silent upon the arrival of Astori's hearse before launching in chants of 'grande capitano', which translates as 'great captain'.
Former Argentina right-back Javier Zanetti led a delegation of Inter Milan players including manager Luciano Spalletti, while former Azzurri striker and current Venice manager Filippo Inzaghi was also in attendance.
Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon joined mourners less than 24 hours after captaining his side to victory over Tottenham in the Champions League.
"You were the best expression of an old-fashioned world," the goalkeeper said in an Instagram post paying tribute to the 31-year-old, "one that people have left behind, and which was governed by values like altruism, elegance, politeness and respect toward others.
"Genuine compliments, you were one of the best sporting figures I ever came up against."
Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini paid emotional tribute to his former international teammate in an articulate post-match interview.
"We dedicate this win to him but not only this match. I cry many times, I always believe in him because he was a fantastic player," said Chiellini.
"It's very difficult during the match because we have to think of the game and our opponents. It is not easy but he’s always in our heart. And tomorrow we go to give last 'ciao' together with our team-mates.
"It's difficult but we have to continue our lives. I think for us he was important for our national team, he always brought positive emotion and always smiled. We would like to continue to smile in our heart."
Astori is survived by his partner, Francesca Fioretti, and their two-year-old daughter.