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Davide Astori Dies, Aged 31

A painful day in Tuscany

ACF Fiorentina v FC Internazionale - Serie A
“A great, perfect person” - Gianluigi Buffon
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

The world of calcio is in shock today at the news that Fiorentina captain, Davide Astori was found dead in his hotel room this morning. Club Spokesman Arturo Mastrodani explained that Astori was found unresponsive in his bed by a member of the club’s staff whilst the rest of the squad were eating breakfast.

The cause of the Italy international’s death is currently unknown, and under investigation at a hospital in Udine.

In the hours since the club’s announcement a number of former domestic and international teammates haven taken to social media this morning to grieve the passing of not just a fellow professional but a friend. Amongst them are former Cagliari and Roma teammate Radja Nainggolan, and compatriots Giussepe Rossi and Gianluigi Buffon, all of whom expressed the utmost respect for the great man that Davide was.

Astori began his career with AC Milan, but left for Cagliari in search of playing time. He remained with i Rossoblu for six years before joining Roma on loan for the 2014-15 season, after which he moved to Fiorentina on loan with an obligation to buy.

In his first year with the club Astori was a key part of la Viola’s defence, helping the club to secure fifth place in Serie A and qualification for the next season’s Europa League. During the 2016-17 season Astori was one of few consistent performers in an often uninspired Fiorentina team, and following the departure of Gonzalo Rodriguez, new coach Stefano Pioli named Astori club captain at the beginning of the 2017-18 season. The centre half had been integral to the team this season, featuring in all but one of la Viola’s competitive fixtures.

Davide made 109 appearances for Fiorentina in all competitions and had recently signed a new contract with the club which would have kept him in Tuscany until 2022.

In honour of Astori, all of today’s Serie A and Serie B fixtures have been postponed.

Our thoughts go out to those close to Davide, in particular to his partner and their children.

Riposa in pace, capitano.