Italy Footballer Davide Astori Found Dead At 31, Match Called Off

Italy defender and Fiorentina skipper Davide Astori died in his sleep on Saturday night

The captain of Italy's Fiorentina football team, Davide Astori, has been found dead in a hotel room.

In a statement, Fiorentina said: "Fiorentina are profoundly shaken and forced to announce that their captain Davide Astori has died". "Because of the awful and delicatesituation, and most of all for the respect due to his family, we make an appeal to everybody's sensitiveness". "The idea we have of the situation is that the player died of cardiac arrest by natural causes", said Udine prosecutor Antonio De Nicolo."It is unusual that such a thing should happen to a professional who is so closely monitored and showed no warning signs". The game was immediately called off, followed by all other Sunday Italian Serie A fixtures.

The EFA said in a statement that they are shocked by Astori's death and that their shock is shared by Fiorentina's former Egyptian players Mohamed Salah and Ahmed Hegazi.

"I believe that no doctor in the world can ever tell you that there is a foolproof remedy when it comes to the risk of sudden death".

Andrea Pirlo also expressed his condolences via social media.

Astori's national team captain Gianluigi Buffon wrote an emotional letter in his tribute to his former teammate.

When news came through of Astori's death, Genoa and Cagliari were warming up at Marassi, but Perin ran off the field in tears.

The match of Serie A between Fiorentina and Udinese postponed.

"In your case, I feel I am making an exception to my rule, because you have a young wife and family members who are suffering, but especially your little girl, deserves to know that her father was in all respects a flawless person, a great ideal person".

He also played for the Italian national team, receiving his first call-up in 2010 and making his debut in March 2011.

Astori went on loan to Roma in 2014 and then to Fiorentina in 2015.

"I send my most honest condolences to Davide's family and I thank you Davide for having been a great opponent on the pitch and for all you have done for football".

Federation Internationale de Football Association and UEFA, along with several footballing personalities also offered their condolences on Astori's death.

"It seems impossible. I'm in a state of disbelief and I cry with his family and all for Fiorentina".

He was raised at AC Milan but never played for their senior team. "Send condolences to the #astori family".

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