Date:23rd July 2021 at 8:00pm
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Stefano Pioli has once again spoken about the painful death of Davide Astori and how it has changed his life forever, emphasising the fact that we need to see players as humans too.

The AC Milan coach was in charge of Fiorentina on the morning of March 4, 2018 when the tragic news first broke about La Viola captain Astori.

Since that moment, Pioli says that he now thinks of footballers as human beings before professionals, in a world in which it’s so easy to separate the ones we idolise from reality, often setting them apart from ourselves.

“That tragedy made me understand that footballers are human,” Pioli told Fatto Quotidiano. “I had to try to enter inside their heads.

“One-by-one, at nine o’clock in the morning, I had to tell them [Fiorentina players] that the doctor had said that Davide was no longer with us.”

Pioli also went on to talk about the importance of mental toughness and attitude when it comes to footballers, earmarking such strengths as the reason why Italy were successful at Euro 2020.

“In football, technique and tactics count but the most important thing is mental strength,” Pioli said. “It’s a concept that allowed Roberto Mancini to win the European Championship.

“You don’t win with tactics. You win by putting aside the ‘I’ and seeing it as all of ‘us’ in those situations.”