Fiorentina have confirmed that their club captain Davide Astori has died suddenly at the age of 31, BBC Sport report.
The Italy international has passed away after what his club described as a ‘sudden illness’, leading to their Serie A match with Udinese today to be called off.
The footballing world has paid tribute on Twitter as they come to terms with a shock announcement and desperately sad news as a fine footballer tragically leaves us so young.
Astori won 14 caps for Italy and had spells with AC Milan and Roma before moving to current club Fiorentina in 2015 on an initial loan which became permanent in 2016.
Another of his former clubs Cagliari have also postponed their game in the wake of this sad news, with little more information yet known about Astori’s cause of death.
According to the Guardian, the 31-year-old was found by team-mates in their hotel, but the club have called for privacy and respect to be paid towards his family in this difficult time.
A club statement read: ‘Fiorentina are profoundly shocked to have to announce the death of captain Davide Astori after a sudden illness.
‘Given this terrible and delicate situation we appeal to everyone’s sensitivity at this time, above all out of respect for his family.’
Juventus forward Paulo Dybala was among those leading the tributes, tweeting: ‘Without words. Rest in peace Davide Astori.’
His former team-mate Radja Nainggolan also posted this message on Instagram: ‘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.’
UPDATE: AS are among the sources now reporting that all Serie A matches scheduled today have been postponed following Astori’s sudden passing.