Published: Wed, March 07, 2018
Sport | By

Serie A games postponed after Fiorentina captain Astori dies at age 31

Serie A games postponed after Fiorentina captain Astori dies at age 31

Astori's national team captain Gianluigi Buffon wrote an emotional letter in his tribute to his former teammate.

When news came through of Astori's death, Genoa and Cagliari were warming up at Marassi, but Perin ran off the field in tears.

Fiorentina said Astori, who had played for the club since 2015, was "hit by a sudden illness".

The Italian soccer star Davide Astori has died suddenly, aged 31.

According to media reports, Astori, who played 14 times for Italy as a defender, died in his sleep in his team's hotel in the northern Italian city of Udine on Sunday ahead of their Serie A clash against Udinese away. He was 31 years old and the likely cause of death reportedly was cardiac arrest. Fiorentina's game at Udinese in northeast Italy was called off, along with all fixtures in the country's top two divisions.

Fiorentina staff began to worry when Mr Astori was absent from a team breakfast at about 9.30am local time, club spokesman Arturo Mastronardi told reporters outside the hotel.

I was really looking forward to this game today.

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

It is a sport in which the athletes dedicate their lives and Astori was privileged to represent the sport he loved, and Italian football was privileged to have Astori represent the national team and the Italian league throughout his career.

He also had loan spells with Roma and Fiorentina, before joining the latter permanently in 2016.

Tributes have poured in for the player, including one from Italy's former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Serie A's official account tweeted: "Shocked by the tragic news, the whole family of the league Serie A huddles around the family of Davide Astori and Fiorentina".

Astori scored his only worldwide goal in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup third-place playoff against Uruguay in Salvador, giving Italy a first-half lead in a match which finished 2-2. Italy won the match 3-2 on penalty kicks.

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

"AS Roma share the pain the football world is feeling for the loss of Davide Astori".

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