Fiorentina Captain Davide Astori Dies at Age 31 After Sudden Illness

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2018

FLORENCE, ITALY - FEBRUARY 25: Davide Astori of ACF Fiorentina in action during the serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and AC Chievo Verona at Stadio Artemio Franchi on February 25, 2018 in Florence, Italy.  (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Fiorentina captain Davide Astori has died aged 31, the club confirmed on Sunday morning.

The Serie A side posted the following on their Twitter account:

"Fiorentina are profoundly shaken and forced to announce that their captain Davide Astori has died," the statement from the Serie A side read, per Adam Shergold of the MailOnline. "For this terrible and delicate situation, and above all out of respect for his family, we appeal to the sensitivity of the media."

As Football Italia reported, Astori became a father two weeks ago. A number of Serie A clubs were quick to pay their respects to the Italian:

Fiorentina were set to play Udinese in Serie A on Sunday, but the match at the Stadio Friuli has since been suspended, per Robin Bairner of Goal.

Per Football Italia, the match between Genoa and Cagliari, one of Astori's former clubs, was also called off on the same day. Serie A have confirmed all matches on Sunday will be postponed following Astori's death, including the Milan derby, per ESPN's Gabriele Marcotti.

As UEFA's Laure James relayed, it's been reported that Astori died in his sleep in his Udinese hotel having suffered a heart attack:

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The centre-back joined La Viola in 2016, having previously enjoyed spells with AC Milan, Cagliari and Roma. Astori also represented the Italian national team on 14 occasions.

UEFA's Vieri Capretta praised the personality and leadership skills the defender possessed:

The best spell of Astori's career came during a six-year stay with Cagliari, where he established himself as one of Serie A's most rounded centre-backs. The Italian was a graceful defender, who boasted a rich understanding of the game. In possession, Astori was renowned for his ability to distribute with precision.

In the 2017-18 Serie A campaign, he'd made 25 appearances for Fiorentina, who are 10th in the table, netting one goal.

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