May his soul rest in peace.
Aged only 31, the Captain of Fiorentina, Davide Astori, was found dead in his hotel room in Udine, on Sunday.
The Italian central defender died following a “sudden illness” hours before Fiorentina were scheduled to play Udinese in Serie A.
The match, along with all other matches scheduled for the day in Serie A and Serie B, were called off. That weekend, all of the top eight sides were up against one another.
The club he captained, Fiorentina, released a statement on Twitter saying “Fiorentina are profoundly shocked to have to announce the death of captain Davide Astori after a sudden illness.”
Astori was suspected to have a ‘cardiac circulatory collapse’. Antonio de Nicolo, a Udine magistrate, said, “[It was] strange that such a thing happened without any warning symptoms in a profession which is so closely monitored”.
Astori’s body was taken to the Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital for an autopsy.
De Nicolo told Giornale Radio Rai, “We have opened criminal proceedings over the hypothesis of manslaughter.”
“We have a duty to ascertain whether Astori’s death was a tragic fatality of if someone knew something. For now, no-one is responsible, neither is there anyone who seems as if they could answer anything,” he added.
The late Captain had a two-year-old daughter, Vittoria, with his girlfriend, Francesca Fioretti. The club insisted the media to respect Davide Astori’s family, in what they called a “terrible and delicate situation”.
Astori played 14 games for Italy. He started his senior football career at A. C. Milan in 2006, but then just two years later he moved to Cagliari, playing 174 matches with them.
In the 2015-2016 season, Astori was loaned out to Fiorentina for a season. He played 33 games before permanently transferring to the club. When the 2017–18 season began, he was appointed as the captain of Fiorentina.
Astori spent about a decade in Serie A. Talking of his love for football, he said, “I really love my job. I love football. I love it more now and I enjoy it more than I did when I was 18.”
Many different clubs and players offered condolences, expressing their grief over the death of the fallen player.
Gigi Buffon, the Juventus captain, defined Astori as “the greatest expression of an old world, one in which masters were made of values like altruism, elegance, education, and respect.”
Buffon further added, “I want to make an exception to my rule (of not expressing my feelings about others) because you have a young wife and others close to you who are suffering, but mostly because your little girl deserves to know that her dad was a good man … a great man.”