Sunday March 4 2018
Fiorentina captain Astori dead

Fiorentina and Italy defender Davide Astori has died in his sleep.

The centre-back turned 31 in January and was the captain of the Viola squad, with 14 senior Italy caps and one goal to his name.

He had a two-year-old daughter.

According to Udine Today, the player failed to wake up this morning when he was at the La di Moret hotel in Udine on a training camp with the squad, awaiting today’s match with Udinese.

The reports were spreading rapidly and Fiorentina released a statement this morning to confirm the news.

“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.”

Udinese-Fiorentina has obviously been called off. There are reports the rest of the Serie A games this weekend could also be cancelled.

Genoa-Cagliari is due to kick off at 11.30 GMT and news of Astori's death arrived at Marassi during the warm-up, the players visibly in shock.

Astori started his career in the Milan youth academy in 2001, remaining at the club – with a loan spell at Cremonese and Pizzighettone – until July 2008.

He spent six years at Cagliari, leaving in 2014 for Roma on loan, then starting his Fiorentina experience in the summer of 2015.