It seems almost foolish to talk about Calcio.
It seems so superficial, so needless, so unimportant. Through all the hard fought battles we witness each weekend, there lies a common respect – a bond between players that is rarely spoken of but always acknowledged.
Davide Astori’s passing is an unfathomable low-point in this decade of despair in Italian football. It’s the event that truly ripped at the heart and soul of the calcio family.
In 20 or 30 years from now, when players from today are asked about the low-point in a career, they won’t talk about how they lost specific games or titles. They will talk about how a giant among men left them far too early. A good man. A father.
We saw Leonardo Bonucci burst into tears on television. Mattia Perin run off the field when he heard the news. Carlos Sanchez buckle at the knees. Marko Bakic openly weep on the bench. The stereotypical ‘tough guy’ Ultras sobbing in the crowd in front of the Santa Croce Cathedral.
Make no mistake – this is lowest point in Italian football since Piermario Morosini’s death on the field in Pescara in 2012.
Above all, Astori’s passing reminds us of the fragility of life, and how things can change in the blink of an eye. It should remind us regardless of faith or creed that we are all human, and one individual can have a profound effect on those around us.
This weekend, Calcio will return. As you’re watching the matches, spare a thought for Davide’s 2-year-old daughter, Vittoria, who will not have her father around to teach her about the game that we all love.
Riposa in pace,