Udine: Italy international and Fiorentina captain Davide Astori was found dead on Sunday morning in his hotel room. He was 31.
The news of this untimely demise was confirmed by the Serie A club in a statement which read, “Fiorentina are profoundly shaken and forced to announce that their captain Davide Astori has died.
“For this terrible and delicate situation, and above all out of respect for his family, we appeal to the sensitivity of the media.”
Fiorentina were scheduled to take on Udinese on Sunday and as a mark of respect, not only that game but also all the seven Serie A matches were postponed.
The lanky centre-back had won 14 international caps for the Italian national team and had spells with Cagliari, Roma and Fiorentina before joining the latter permanently two years ago. He represented his country in the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil where he scored his only international goal, in a third-place play-off match against Uruguay which Italy won on penalties.
Astori was involved in eight clean sheets for Fiorentina this season and his last goal for the club came in a 5-0 win over Hellas Verona in September. He is survived by longtime girlfriend model Francesca Fiorentina and their two-year-old daughter Vittoria.
Radja Nainggolan who was Astori’s former teammate at Cagliari tweeted, “A great player, but even more than that, a great person. How many battles we were in together at Cagliari, then found each other again at Roma I still can’t believe it. My thoughts are with his family and those close to him. RIP.”
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, under whom Astori played for the national team said in an international with Sky Sports before their Premier League clash against Manchester City said, “He was a fantastic guy.”
“He was a great player, but especially a fantastic guy,” he added.