Ahead of Tuesday night’s two Champions League matches, a one-minute silence took place at both Anfield and the Parc des Princes in honour of Davide Astori.
The Fiorentina defender’s untimely death from a cardiac arrest on Sunday devastated the football community.
All Serie A matches were postponed on Sunday as Italian football came to terms with such unexpected and upsetting news about a man who, by all accounts, was a class act both on and off the pitch.
Fiorentina announced on Tuesday that they have retired the number 13 shirt while Cagliari, where Astori spent eight years from 2008, have followed suit.
But amid the outpouring of grief and tributes for the Italian defender, there has been a backlash about comments that Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil full-back Dani Alves made earlier this week.
Alves's controversial comments about Astori
When asked about Astori’s death, Alves was quoted by The Sun as saying: "We were not disturbed too much because we did not know him very much, I am sorry for his family.
"I think that Davide has done what he owed in this chaotic world and that now he is in a better world.
"But in the world every day thousands of children who do not receive much attention die of hunger and they are just as important.
"We all have to die sooner or later because we are passing through.
"Maybe we are sad, but certainly not like his family."
Football fans were not happy with Alves
Needless to say, Alves’s rather insensitive and unnecessary response did not go down well with football fans, some of whom took to social media to criticise the former Barcelona star’s reaction…
Balotelli has now reacted to Alves's comments
And now Mario Balotelli has responded, venting his frustration on a live Instagram video with Damiano Er Faina.
“What he said wasn’t wrong, but he could’ve kept it to himself at that moment,” Balotelli was quoted as saying by Football Italia.
“He should’ve just passed on his condolences and that’s it, not talk rubbish. You cannot make those comments when faced with someone’s death.
“He said things that had **** all to do with anything. Astori, by the way, was a good guy, polite, and I can say that because I played with him for the Nazionale.”
Balotelli is spot on
Balotelli has put Alves in his place there and rightly so.
He’s right when he says Alves should have passed on his condolences and left it at that.
“Unfortunately, I can’t go to the funeral on Thursday because I have a training session, otherwise I would’ve got in the car and attended,” Balotelli added.
“It’s something that happened despite the many checks we players are subjected to once a month. It’s scary to think about this, because he was in bed and seemed fine. It’s too easy to find yourself going up into the sky.”