Vincenzo Montella, Rudi Garcia, Borja Valero, Gonzalo Rodriguez and Khouma Babacar expressed disbelief after Davide Astori’s death.
The 31-year-old Fiorentina captain was found dead this morning in his hotel room in Udine, where the squad was preparing to play a Serie A match against Udinese today.
“I can’t believe it, I don’t want to believe it… this is surreal… rest in peace Davide,” wrote Inter midfielder Borja Valero on Instagram.
Borja Valero spent five years at Fiorentina before leaving for Inter over the summer.
Striker Babacar was at the Viola until January, when he moved to Sassuolo.
“I have no words to describe this marvellous person. I am not talking about on the pitch, but off it. Always smiling, you are the first to run towards me when I score a goal and even sprint 70 metres plus to reach me.
“Ciao brother. Condolences to all his family and to football, because there are few men like him in the world now.”
Rodriguez was the Viola captain, an armband inherited by Astori.
“My friend, I will always remember you like this, so many battles together and many wonderful moments… I have no words to describe what I feel. Profound sadness, condolences to the family… CIAO CAPTAIN, REST IN PEACE.”
Montella was on the Fiorentina bench and sent his message from Spain, where he is now the Coach of Sevilla.
“There is pain that no word can represent. The sudden death of Davide is a wound that hurts the skin, the heart. His smile and his moral purity are within all of us who had the privilege to walk beside him. Ciao, captain.”
Former Roma Coach Garcia, now at Olympique Marseille, was in charge during Astori’s one season at the Stadio Olimpico.
“The news of the premature death of my ex-player Davide Astori pains me. An exemplary professional and guy. I am close to the family and his loved ones. Rest in peace Davide.”