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Italy pays respect to Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini


The funeral of Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini took place today in Bergamo, the city where he was born.

Morosini died on Saturday after collapsing on the pitch during a Serie B game against Pescara.

No cause of death was determined after Morosini's autopsy proved inconclusive.

Thousands of fans paid their respects yesterday in Leghorn, filing past his coffin at Livorno's Armando Picchi stadium.

Large crowds also gathered today outside the church in Bergamo where the funeral was held to bid farewell to the 25-year-old, nicknamed 'Moro'.

Members of the football world along with family and friends were present at the funeral, while thousands watched it on national television, including those who saw it on big screens set up around Bergamo.

Among those present at the service was Italy coach Cesare Prandelli.

Morosini, who moved to Livorno on loan from Udinese in January, had made 18 appearances for Italy's Under-21 side.

Prandelli said: "When faced with this tragedy, football must question itself.

"Sports medicine and prevention in Italy is very advanced but we can still improve.

"Piermario has taught us that you can face life's adversities with a smile."

Morosini had been hit by a series of personal tragedies in his young life.

He had lost both his parents before his 18th birthday.

Shortly after, Morosini's disabled brother committed suicide, leaving him alone with his handicapped elder sister.

An Atalanta jersey with the number 8 was placed above the casket.

Atalanta president Antonio Percassi personally pledged to look after Morosini's sister Maria Carla for the rest of her life.

Maria Carla is severely disabled and lives in a nursing home in Bergamo.

Morosini moved to Udinese in 2005 from Atalanta's youth academy before embarking on a series of loan spells elsewhere - first at Bologna, then Reggina, Padova, Vicenza and finally Livorno.

Morosini's coffin was carried out of the church by his friends as fans applauded outside.