Italian football has woken up to shocking news on Sunday, with Serie A giants Fiorentina announcing the sudden death of captain Davide Astori.
The 31-year-old defender – who had been with the club since 2016 and previously turned out for Milan, Cagliari and Roma – had 14 caps for Italy and was a member of the squad that played in the 2013 Confederations Cup.
According to Udine Today, the player failed to wake up at the La di Moret hotel in the city this morning. Fiorentina were set to play Udinese in the afternoon, but the match has been subsequently cancelled.
Fiorentina have issued an official statement, saying: “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.”
It’s possible that Sunday’s entire Serie A programme could be postponed as a mark of respect. The early kick-off between Genoa and Cagliari was cancelled, with the crowd breaking into spontaneous applause when a picture of Astori was shown on the big screen.
Astori made his breakthrough at Cagliari, playing for them 174 times in a six-year spell, during which he made his national team debut.