5 Mar 2018

Italian football mourn shock death of Astori

9:39 am on 5 March 2018

The Italian soccer star Davide Astori has died suddenly, aged 31.

The Italian soccer star Davide Astori has died suddenly, aged just 31.

Serie A side Fiorentina confirmed the death of their captain in a short statement on their website.

Davide Astori

Davide Astori Photo: Supplied

"Fiorentina are deeply upset to report that captain Davide Astori has died of a sudden illness,"

the statement said.

"For the terrible and delicate situation, and above all for the respect of his family, sensitivity is called for."

Reports on Twitter say he died in his sleep, in a hotel room as his team prepared to play on Sunday.

The cause of death is unknown.

Fiorentina were due to face Udinese on Sunday but the match, along with six other Serie A fixtures scheduled, was postponed because of the death of the former Italian international.

Astori started his career with AC Milan but did not play a competitive match for the Rossoneri and after loan spells with Serie C clubs Pizighettone and Cremonese he joined Cagliari in 2008, playing for the club until 2016.

During his time on the books of the Sardinian side, Astori had loan spells with Roma and Fiorentina, joining the latter permanently in 2016.

After representing Italy under-18s, Astori played 11 times at senior level.

His debut in March 2011 in a 2-0 victory over Ukraine in Kiev was eventful - he was introduced as a first-half substitute before being sent off with 15 minutes remaining after receiving two yellow cards.

Astori scored his only international goal in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup third-place play-off against Uruguay in Salvador, giving Italy a first-half lead in a match that finished 2-2.

The Azzurri won the contest on penalties.