March 20, 2018 / 3:47 AM / 4 months ago

Soccer: Fiorentina to rename training ground after Astori

(Reuters) - Italian club Fiorentina are to rename their training ground the “Centro Sportivo Davide Astori” in honour of their former captain, who died suddenly at the age of 31 earlier this month.

Soccer Football - Serie A - Fiorentina vs Benevento Calcio - Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italy - March 11, 2018 Fiorentina fans with a banner of former player Davide Astori before the match REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

Astori, who played 289 Serie A matches over 10 seasons and won 14 caps for Italy, died of what authorities said was cardiac arrest in his hotel room ahead of a league game against Udinese.

“We’ve made this decision because that was his home,” Fiorentina president Mario Cognigni told Italian media outlet Mediaset. “He went there every day for training and used to spend time there with his family too.

“We believe that honouring him in this way is the right thing to do so the training ground will now be called Centro Sportivo Davide Astori. We will do it as soon as possible.”

The defender’s death left Italian football in shock and thousands of fans turned out along with players and coaches at his funeral on March 8.

Soccer Football - Davide Astori Funeral - Santa Croce, Florence, Italy - March 8, 2018 A person holds a Fiorentina shirt outside the church during the funeral REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru

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