Milan Badelj read out Fiorentina’s message at Davide Astori’s funeral - “you are the brother or the son that everyone would want to have”.
The Viola captain tragically died on Sunday, and his funeral is being held today at the Basilica di Santa Croce.
The archbishop of Florence, Giuseppe Betori, opened the ceremony with the words “we are here to pray for Davide, in this Basilica which Italy wanted to be the shrine of the most glorious men who honoured it, and who represent the highest virtues of our people. We recognise these virtues in Davide, and that’s why we salute him in this place.”
The club also offered a eulogy for their departed captain, which was read out by Milan Badelj.
"Davide, you are simple, direct, pragmatic," the Croatian said.
"With your deep gaze you can get in to someone's eyes and stay there, you're not like all the others.
"You managed to talk to us all, to show us the way. You always talked with your heart, you motivated the youngest and the older ones with the gift of the universal language of the heart, a gift that very few have.
“You are the brother or the son that everyone would want to have.
“Your parents got nothing wrong with you, not one comma.
"You're the best teammate a lad could dream of when starting out in this beautiful game. How can we forget your laughs, your sense of humour?
"You are not like the others, you are football - the real thing, the pure football of children.
“Our thoughts go to your mum and your dad, to your brothers, to Francesca and Princess Vichy [his partner and daughter]. You were a man with a capital M, and we will tell her that.
“In the morning you were always first in the physio room to turn on the light. You are a light for all of us.
"Thank you, Davide."
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