Astori's team mates pay tribute as Fiorentina, Cagliari retire number 13 shirt

by Leon Thompson March 9, 2018, 1:55
Astori's team mates pay tribute as Fiorentina, Cagliari retire number 13 shirt

The whole of Italy and the footballing world beyond has registered its collective shock and disbelief after the sudden death overnight on Saturday of Fiorentina captain and Italian global defender Davide Astori at just 31 years of age.

Astori was found dead in his hotel room before the Viola's clash against Udinese, where it is believed he succumbed to a fatal cardiac arrest in his sleep.

Serie A postponed all Sunday's matches.

The club, then entering a period of volatile roster turnover with a summer firesale that saw most of the previous season's stars leave Florence, planned to build the next generation Viola around the foundational rock of Astori.

"This is a tragedy", Conte said.

Shortly after the sad news of his passing was confirmed, a story began circulating online that the club had indefinitely extended his contract and donated the salary to his partner Francesca and their two-year-old daughter Vittoria. "It's very hard at this moment to find the right words for the family", Chelsea coach Conte told Sky Sports ahead of his team's Premier League match at Manchester City on Sunday.

Davide Astori died of a sudden illness at the age of just 31
GETTY Davide Astori died of a sudden illness at the age of just 31

He spent six years at the Sardinian club before being lent to Roma and Fiorentina, where he was signed on a permanent basis in 2016.

Led by coach Stefano Pioli, the Fiorentina squad gathered at the gates of the Artemio Franchi stadium where the team play their home games and placed a picture of Astori alongside the banners, scarves and messages previously left by fans. "He was a great player, especially a fantastic guy".

Astori started out in the Milan youth academy. Italy would go on to win the match on penalty kicks.

The Serie A club announced the move on Tuesday, while also confirming that Astori's former club Cagliari would also do the same.

Unfortunately for the players and staff of Genoa and Cagliari the news was reported to them whilst both teams were warming up at the Marassi. "In Italy, more tests are carried out and there are only a few other countries in the world on our level".

Legendary Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon posted on social media following the shock news of Davide Astori's death.

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