This is a special edition of our A to Z column. As yesterday the whole world of football, in Italy and abroad, emotionally remembered Fiorentina captain Davide Astori after his tragic passing, we also thought to honor him our way. We highlighted some key moments in his career, the good ones and the bad ones, that made his history. We did it to remember and celebrate an unfortunate player and a good man, who delighted us with many of those football moments that keep reminding us why we love this crazy and passionate game.
RIPOSA IN PACE, #Our Captain #Astori13
A for AC Milan, where everything started, where Astori began to play (2001-2006) and learned a defensive mentality from his coach, the legend Franco Baresi.
B for Bronze and Brazil. Astori won the 3rd place at the Confederations Cup 2013 with the Azzurri coach by Cesare Prandelli.
C for Captain of Fiorentina. On August 4, 2015, Davide joined the Viola on loan. Fiorentina bought him at the end of his first season, and eventually appointed him as their captain.
D for Davide Giacomo Astori, his full name. Born in San Giovanni Bianco, a small town in the province of Bergamo, he started to play football in the youth team US Calcio San Pellegrino as center back, and kept this position along all his career.
E for Ezequiel Lavezzi. On October 23, 2011, Astori, then playing for Cagliari, suffered a foot fracture from a tackle by the Argentinian striker, and was forced to stay three months out of the pitch.
F for Fiorentina: 3 seasons, 109 games, 3 goals and 3 assists. Astori scored his first goal away against Crotone (10/26/16), his second against Inter (4/22/17), and the third to Hellas Verona (9/10/17).
G for goals: Not only those he scored, but also the ones he saved as a defender – the most famous being this save on the goal line in an exciting Fiorentina-Inter (5-4) game.
H for head and focus, two major qualities of Davide Astori, who was seen as an example and a warrior leader by his teammates.
I for International career: Astori earned 4 caps with the Italian Under 18 youth team, and 14 with the Nazionale. He also tallied 18 presences in European competitions – 4 with Rome, and 14 with Fiorentina.
L for loans, as he played on loan for four full seasons. He has sent to play for Pizzighettone and Cremonese (3rd Division Serie C1 clubs, from 2006 to 2008), for Roma in the 2014-15 season, and then again for Fiorentina the following year.
M for Moscow. Astori reportedly turned down an offer by Russian club Spartak Moscow, which offered 15 millions Euro to buy his services: “I want to give a sense of fulfilment to my career with the Rossoblu outfit,” is what he said.
N for Nesta, his model of football defender. For Davide, Nesta was not only a player – but a guide, an idol, and the best Italian center back ever. In his honor, Astori picked his jersey number 13.
O for OUR CAPTAIN FOREVER #Astori13
P for Ponte San Pietro, his first “professional” club. When he was still playing for UC San Pellegrino, Federico Locatelli – a Ponte San Pietro talent scout – decided to recruit him. Astori spent four years there, before joining for Milan youth team.
Q for quality player, as Dario Dainelli defined him when he joined Fiorentina.
R for Roma and Champions League. With the Giallorossi, Astori collected his only two appearances in the major European competition, against Spartak Moscow.
S for Sardinia and Cagliari, where he spent six long seasons, from 2008 to 2014. With the Rossoblu, Astori played 171 games and scored three times.
T for tredici in Italian, and thirteen in English. More than a number. It was Davide Astori’s number, and both Cagliari and Fiorentina decided to retire it from their rosters. #Astori13
U for Uruguay, against whom Italy played on June 30, 2013. A game valid for the third place in the Confederations Cup 2013, during which Astori scored his only goal with the Azzurri.
V for Viola, which in English reads “purple,” and in Florence reads…well, it’s just untranslatable. You are now part of the Viola people forever, a true honor for anyone who loves football.
Z for zero, like the number of red cards he collected in his 379 matches as professional. Great stuff for a defender!