Soccer news -Sudden death in Italy, Fiorentina captain dies while sleeping

Fiorentina captain Davide Astori has died aged 31, the Italian club have confirmed.

Astori was staying in a hotel with his team-mates ahead of their game on Sunday away at Udinese when he passed away.

The defender won 14 caps for Italy in a career which started at AC Milan, although he never played a first team game for the club before being sold to Cagliari.

“Fiorentina are profoundly shaken and forced to announce that their captain Davide Astori has died,” read the statement.

“For this terrible and delicate situation, and above all out of respect for his family, we appeal to the sensitivity of the media.”

The match against Udinese has been postponed following the announcement of the player’s death. It was later confirmed that all Serie A games were to be postponed out of respect for Astori.

Former Cagliari team-mate Radja Nainggolan wrote 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.”

During his career Astori played spent time on loan at Roma and Fiorentina before joining the latter club two years ago on a permanent basis after six years as a Cagliari player. Astori was a member of the Italy squad for the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil, scoring his only international goal in the third-place playoff against Uruguay, which Italy won on penalties.

Former Roma manager Rudi Garcia tweeted: “The news of the untimely death of my former player Davide Astori pains me. A professional and exemplary guy. I am close to the family and his loved ones. Rest in peace Davide.”

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