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Simeone: Viola have ‘inner force’

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Fiorentina striker Giovanni Simeone is ‘completely certain that Davide Astori is still there’ as the captain’s passing ‘created a force inside us’.

Fiorentina have gone on to win six of their nine games without Astori, the most recent of which saw Simeone take his tally for the season to 14 with a hat-trick against Napoli on Sunday.

“It was probably the hardest week of my whole life,” he told the Times.

“I am completely certain that he is still there. Any time that we’re playing, any time we need him, we still feel his presence.

“It has created a force inside us, a power that gives us a lot of strength.”

The Argentine, like teammate Federico Chiesa, has a famous father in Diego Simeone, and he spoke of the impact the Atletico Madrid boss had on his career, as well as the breakup of his parents seven years ago.

“At the start, I played in the same position [as him], but then my father told me, ‘No, it’s not your place’,” he continued.

“When I was young, I had a powerful shot and all the keepers were quite small, so if I hit it hard it would go in, so my dad said, ‘Go up front, that’s your spot.’

“Any time I want to motivate myself, I watch [videos of him]. He had this ‘grinta’’. Parents’ divorce? It was a very difficult moment.

“Now that some time has passed, I realise that it made me grow up a lot. I had to become a father to my two younger siblings, because my mother was taking it very hard.”

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