Fiorentina captain Davide Astori has died at the age of 31. The Serie A club announced the defender, an Italy international, passed away in his sleep at a hotel the team were staying in ahead of Sunday’s match against Udinese. “Fiorentina are profoundly shaken and forced to announce that their captain Davide Astori has died,” read a statement from Fiorentina. “For this terrible and delicate situation, and above all out of respect for his family, we appeal to the sensitivity of the media.”
Astori made more than 250 appearances in Serie A and was capped 14 times by Italy. Fiorentina’s match against Udinese has been postponed, along with all other Serie A fixtures scheduled for Sunday. Astori started his career with AC Milan but did not play a competitive match for the Rossoneri, and after loan spells with Serie C clubs Pizzighettone and Cremonese he joined Cagliari in 2008, playing for the club until 2016. During his time on the books of the Sardinian side, Astori had loan spells with Roma and Fiorentina, joining the latter permanently in 2016.
After representing Italy Under-18s, Astori played 14 times at senior level. His debut in March 2011 in a 2-0 victory over Ukraine in Kiev was eventful – he was introduced as a first-half substitute before being sent off with 15 minutes remaining after receiving two yellow cards. Astori scored his only international goal in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup third-place play-off against Uruguay in Salvador, giving Italy a first-half lead in a match which finished 2-2. The Azzurri won the contest on penalties.
Among the other Serie A games to be postponed was Sunday evening’s Milan derby between AC and Inter. The Rossoneri said of their former player on their Twitter account: “A man who loved football and who grew up as footballer with us. #ACMilan are shocked by the passing of Davide #Astori. It is with great sadness that we offer our deepest condolences to his family and closed ones and to ACF Fiorentina.”