Fiorentina captain Davide Astori has passed away

  • Fiorentina captain Davide Astori has passed away

Fiorentina captain Davide Astori has passed away

Italian defender Astori, 31, was found dead at the La di Moret Hotel ahead of Fiorentina's Serie A clash with Udinese on Sunday.

Astori initially joined Fiorentina on loan in 2015 before making the move permanent the following year.

Born in San Giovanni Bianco, about a 90-minute drive northeast of Milan, Astori began his senior career with AC Milan in 2006.

Astori made his Italian debut in 2011 and played at the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil, where he scored against Uruguay.

Udine prosecutor Antonio De Nicolo said: "The belief is that the player died of a cardiac arrest by natural causes".

He joined Cagliari in 2008 where spent most of his career there in 174 global match appearances. "He was a great player, especially a fantastic guy". "Goodbye Captain", tweeted Fiorentina supporter Matteo Renzi, who was mayor of Florence before serving as prime minister of Italy.

"It seems impossible. I'm in a state of disbelief and I cry with his family and all of Fiorentina".

Also on Twitter, Sport Minister Luca Lotti said "we lose an extraordinary athlete and man".

Astori had only just become a father two weeks before his death. After an announcement was made at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris explaining the postponement, fans applauded as a picture of Astori appeared on the big screens inside the stadium.

Former Cagliari team-mate Radja Nainggolan wrote on Instagram: "A great player, but even more than that, a great person".

"You were the best expression of an old-fashioned world, one that people have left behind, with values like altruism, elegance, politeness and respect towards others".

"You were one of the best sports figures that I came across".

"Shocked, incredulous and speechless for this tragedy". The match was, of course, postponed with the agreement of the presidents of both clubs, closely followed by the cancellation of all today's other Serie A fixtures, including tonight's Milan derby.

"I have spoken to more than one doctor and I don't want to get involved in speculation", he said.

"That is how I will always remember you, with a smile on your face!"