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Remembering the late, great Davide Astori

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It’s been three years. It still feels like yesterday. Our hearts are still broken.

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-FIORENTINA-BENEVENTO Photo credit should read CLAUDIO GIOVANNINI/AFP via Getty Images

Three years ago we lost not only a great footballer, but a great man. On March 4th 2018 Davide Astori was taken from this Earth by cardiac arrest. It sent shockwaves through the soccer world and still does today.

As we reflect back on this tragedy three years after, the pain here at VN hasn’t subsided much. A lot of time we fans focus so much on the player, not enough time on the person. Everything we’ve heard about Davide was that he was not only a great leader and mentor in the locker room, but also a wonderful husband and father. I could sit here and rattle off statistics and accomplishments, but that’s not what matters. I would rather take this platform and highlight the type of human he was: kind, gentle, trustworthy.

His impact at Fiorentina is still felt and his handprints are all over the organization. The club has done a great job of honoring his legacy. They fought Serie A to allow their captain to wear the DA13 armband and named their training ground after him. Furthermore, they (along with Cagliari) retired the number 13 so it can never be worn again. A fitting to tribute to a man beloved by all.

When his funeral was held in the city there was a lot was made of the Juventus players attending. To me, them showing up to pay their respects was not only the right move but also showed us that there is more to life than just soccer. We may hate those players every other day, but for that day, we were joined together by our respect for Davide.

We as a society can learn a lot from that day. It showed us that even though we may not support someone or something, we can still put out differences aside for the greater good. We’re too focused on our differences that we fail to see all the similarities. Davide united us all on that and his presence will be a part of Calcio forever.

So while it’s tough for us to sit here and put into words the immense feeling of gratitude we had for #13, I tried my best. Thank you for leading this team and city, we will always miss you and

Riposa in pace fratello!