It has been a while since I started hating weekends. For sometime now, Premier League is the only thing that I look forward to in weekends.
It has been quite a while since I kicked a ball and I can see that taking a toll on my body. Laziness is on the rise even though I plan of doing something productive every week.
A two-nil Liverpool win against Rafa’s Newcastle made my Saturday feel like a good one, but what about Sunday?
Manchester City and Chelsea were going head-to-head, but that did not excite me much for some reason.
To make me feel like I did something, I decided to write an article of Roberto Firmino. After I completed more than half of the piece, I decided to go on social media to see what was happening.
And what I came acorss was really heartbreaking.
“Fiorentina captain and Italy international – Davide Astori – passes away at 31”, the headline read.
Even though I follow football I have to admit that I did not know who he was, but I felt sad and heartbroken like anyone who loved the game.
“You were the best expression of an old-fashioned world, one that people have left behind, with values like altruism, elegance, politeness and respect towards others.
Compliments genuinely, you were one of the best sporting figures I ever came up against”, posted Juventus and Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon on Facebook and this was the first thing that I came to know about him.
Tributes started pouring in from players and fans alike, and as I read each of them I felt more and more heartbroken.
Riccardo Saponara, who joined Fiorentina last year, wrote a tribute to Astori on his Instagram account that brought tears in the eyes of many.
“O captain, my captain. Why did you not come down to have breakfast with us all?… “, Saponara started without being able to digest the fact that his captain is no more.
Anyone who read the words of Saponara would have wondered how a player who joined a club just a year ago can be so connected to another player.
And this was the answer Saponara had for everyone. “In life there are people you’ve known forever but have never bonded with, and then there are the ‘Davides’, who warm to you immediately with a simple ‘welcome to Florence, Ricky”.
All these tributes that flowed in for Astori was not because he was a great player or a great captain or a great friend, it was because a great person.
Sometimes we tend to forget that players are people aswell and we often ignore the moral values a player possess. Astori was not a victim of such treatment, because everyone who knew him really knew him. They loved him.
He won’t be leading his side from the back anymore nor won’t he be wearing the Fiorentina armband anymore like Saponara and everyone want, but for sure he will remain the CAPTAIN – watching his boys play from the skies.
Respect to Fiorentina, who reportedly will hand Astori a lifetime contract that will see the proceedings go to his widow wife and two-year-old daughter. But just like his teammate asked, “what will your absence feel like?”
His wife, his daughter, his teammates, his friends and everyone who loved him won’t be just feeling the absence of a person in their lives, but the absence of great positivity and virtues.
He went to sleep focused on leading his team to victory the next day. It is hurtful to think that he never woke up from it.
O, Davide Astori! You will remain Captain forever, not just to the Fiorentina team – but for everyone who loves you and the beautiful game.
Written by Dakir Thanveer
Follow Dakir on Twitter @ZakWriter
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