Tottenham Hotspur and Juventus will observe a moment of silence to remember the life of Fiorentina defender and club captain Davide Astori ahead of their Champions League match at Wembley Stadium today. The same observance will also take place ahead of Manchester City’s match against Basel and in all Europa League matches this week.
A minute of silence in memory of former Fiorentina captain Davide Astori will be observed again tomorrow and Thursday ahead of all UEFA games. pic.twitter.com/MBj6HXaQCV— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) March 6, 2018
Astori tragically passed away Sunday due to an apparent heart attack. He was a stand-out central defender for both Caligari and Fiorentina, and had 14 caps for Italy before his untimely death. He was only 31 years old.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino paid tribute to Astori in a press conference ahead of the Champions League tie with Juventus, saying that he once tried to sign Astori when he was managing Southampton.
“First of all, I want to send all my condolences to David Astori and all the people that love him and I think it’s a massive tragedy.
“I had the possibility to meet him five years ago because it was my idea to sign him when we were at Southampton. I took three hours to have lunch with him and he was a great kid, great person, great professional, great player.”
Pochettino is no stranger to tragedy of this type: he endured the preseason death of Dani Jarque while he was manager at La Liga side Espanyol in 2009, an event that affects him to this day.
“Yes, for me, it was like, for everyone, it repeated everything in my mind with what happened in Florence, with what happened with Dani when I was manager of Espanyol.
“I know it’s so difficult, it’s impossible to take away that pain and find an explanation. It’s so difficult, it’s so difficult to understand what happens in these type of things.”
Caligari and Fiorentina have already announced that they will retire Astori’s jersey number 13 in tribute to his life and career.