Fiorentina players pay respects to body of Davide Astori in Florence

FLORENCE, Italy -- Fiorentina's squad visited Italy's national training center in Florence on Wednesday to pay their respects to the body of captain Davide Astori.

The 31-year-old Astori was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday after a suspected cardiac arrest before Fiorentina were set to play an Italian league match at Udinese in northeast Italy.

Astori's body was brought back Wednesday to Florence and taken to the football centre on the outskirts of the city. His funeral takes place Thursday at the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence, Fiorentina's home city.

The bus carrying the Fiorentina squad was greeted with applause before silence fell as players walked off and into the center's gym to see Astori's body.

Astori's Fiorentina and Italy shirts were laid next to the closed coffin, along with wreaths from Fiorentina, the Italian football federation and other football clubs.

Hundreds queued to pay their respects before the doors were opened at 4:30 p.m. local time for a six-hour period.

Other footballers to visit included Roma captain Daniele De Rossi and a delegation from Torino formed of Andrea Belotti, Lorenzo De Silvestri and Adem Ljajic.