Tears and tributes as Serie A returns with Davide Astori in its thoughts | Paolo Bandini

Daniele De Rossi was just one of the players with tears in his eyes as football began again in Italy after the death of the Fiorentina captain

Florence downed tools to remember Davide Astori on Thursday. The player’s funeral had been held in the morning at the Basilica Santa Croce, with a crowd of 10,000 in attendance, but even those who could not be there in person joined in with a minute-long pause for reflection at 1pm. Across the city, businesses shut off the lights and ceased trading.

One day later, Italian football sought to pay tribute by carrying on. The country’s top divisions had abandoned all fixtures after Astori’s sudden passing the previous weekend but the time had come to continue. Not everyone found it easy. Before Roma’s game against Torino on Friday night, Eusebio Di Francesco noted that Daniele De Rossi was struggling to come to terms with the loss of his friend.

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