Serie A fell silent this weekend as a mark of respect for Davide Astori, the Fiorentina captain who died in his sleep on Saturday at the painfully young age of 31.
Every single Italian top flight fixture was cancelled in the wake of the terrible news, which broke early on Sunday morning.
One such game to be cancelled was the Milan derby, though it’s reported that both Leonardo Bonucci (AC Milan captain) and Andrea Ranocchia (vice-captain at Inter) had agreed that neither team would step foot on the San Siro pitch, whether the Italian Sport Council (CONI) called the match off or not, in homage to their fallen comrade.
Both defenders played alongside Astori at international level and therefore decided, via a phone call on the morning of the match, that refusing to play would be the right thing to do given the tragic situation.
According to Il Corriere della Sera, Bonucci called Ranocchia immediately after hearing about Astori’s death and both players agreed to postpone the match, several hours before CONI president Giovanni Malago made the official call.
Not that it was needed in the end, but still – a fine gesture from two fine men.