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Fiorentina-Benevento salutes Astori, releases thousands of balloons (video)

Italy Soccer Serie A

Fiorentina supporters compose the word Davide to honor Fiorentina captain Davide Astori, prior to the Serie A soccer match between Fiorentina and Benevento, at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence, Italy, Sunday, March 11, 2018. The 31-year-old Astori was found dead in his hotel room last Sunday after a suspected cardiac arrest. (Maurizio Degl’Innocenti/ANSA via AP)

AP

Fans held “Grazie Capitano” signs, and the Fiorentina players donned No. 13 jerseys in warm-ups and held a “Ciao Davide” sign after the walkout on an incredibly emotional Sunday morning in Italy.

Fiorentina and Benevento honored Davide Astori, La Viola‘s 31-year-old captain who died last week, by pausing the Serie A match in the 13th minute at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

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Astori’s funeral march was attended by thousands on Thursday, with Juventus’ players flying from their UEFA Champions League match at Tottenham Hotspur in order to mourn and celebrate the life of the 14-times capped Italian national team defender.

The stadium also released thousands of violet and white balloons before kickoff.

Follow @NicholasMendola