Soccer-Players and fans pay their respects to Fiorentina GM Barone


March 20 (Reuters) - Fiorentina fans and players, along with many others from across Italian football, gathered at the Serie A side's training centre on Wednesday to pay their respects to the club's General Manager Joe Barone, who died on Tuesday.

Barone, who would have been 58 on Wednesday, died after he suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday while with the team as they prepared for a league game with Atalanta, which was postponed.

Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso arrived from the U.S. early Wednesday morning, and was at Viola Park to say farewell to Barone, his long-time friend and right-hand man at the club he bought in 2019.

The Fiorentina players paid their respects in private before the doors opened at 9 a.m. to the many fans queuing outside, and a visibly emotional Commisso was hugged and comforted by those he welcomed.

"Barone left everything and his family to come here, we built a great training centre, as the Viola Park would not be here without him," Commisso said at the ceremony.

"Always remember him, he will always remain with you as part of Fiorentina. Joe will never die, because he will live on forever in our hearts."

Representatives of many Italian clubs were present, including AS Roma manager Daniele De Rossi, along with former Fiorentina players.

(Reporting by Trevor Stynes Editing by Toby Davis)


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