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 By Ben Gladwell

Davide Astori inspiration behind Fiorentina's winning run - Stefano Pioli

Fiorentina coach Stefano Pioli says the death of Davide Astori has inspired his team to what could become a record-breaking run of victories.

Astori died just over a month ago prior to the Viola's fixture with Udinese. They had won at Chievo in Astori's last game as captain and have since beaten Benevento, Torino, Crotone, Udinese and Roma to move to within two victories of their club record for successive wins in Serie A.

Pioli says the respect the team had for Astori has united them and made them...

 By Ben Gladwell

Fiorentina without Davide Astori too painful to watch - Crotone boss Walter Zenga

Crotone coach Walter Zenga admits he has struggled to prepare for his side's trip to Fiorentina this Saturday in the wake of David Astori's tragic death.

Fiorentina have won back-to-back Serie A fixtures since captain Astori passed away earlier this month and Zenga said: "Usually I watch the three or four previous games of our next opponents to give me an idea of how to play against them, but I with Fiorentina, I didn't do it, I have to be honest.

"I couldn't bring myself to watch the games with...

 By Ben Gladwell

Fiorentina to rename training centre after late captain Davide Astori

Fiorentina are to rename their training centre after late club captain Davide Astori.

Astori died in his sleep a fortnight ago at the age of 31, ahead of Fiorentina's Serie A game at Udinese. The remainder of that weekend's Serie A fixtures were postponed and his funeral took place nine days ago.

As a degree of normality slowly returns at the club and in Italian football, Fiorentina have decided to rename their Campini sports centre, adjacent to the Stadio Franchi, in Astori's memory.

"We've made...

'Our captain forever': Fiorentina says goodbye to Davide Astori

FLORENCE, Italy -- Thousands of mourners tied their purple Fiorentina scarves tight against the chill and crowded together in the piazza outside the Basilica of Santa Croce. Workers started building the church in 1294, and for more than 700 years now, this is where Florence says farewell to someone who has earned a place in the city's parochial heart. Santa Croce is where secular saints are canonized. The funerals of Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli were held here, and at 10 a.m. on Thursday,...

 By Ben Gladwell

Davide Astori's funeral held as thousands gather in Florence

The funeral of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori was held in Florence on Thursday as thousands of mourners congregated outside the Basilica di Santa Croce to pay their final respects to the defender, who died on Sunday at the age of 31.

Representatives of all of Italy's Serie A clubs were in attendance, with Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini, Claudio Marchisio, Daniele Rugani, Mattia De Sciglio, Miralem Pjanic and coach Massimiliano Allegri arriving on a charter flight from London...

 By Ben Gladwell

Davide Astori died 'natural death' from heart issue, autopsy shows

Preliminary results of an autopsy on the body of Davide Astori confirmed that the Fiorentina captain died of natural causes related to a heart issue.

Astori was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday morning ahead of Fiorentina's scheduled Serie A game with Udinese, at the age of 31.

An autopsy was ordered to discover whether anyone should be held responsible for his death, but Antonio De Nicolo, the chief prosecutor of Udine who had ordered the autopsy to rule out manslaughter, confirmed that it...