Italian Serie A side Fiorentina’s captain Davide Astori has died at the age of 31, just hours before he was due to lead his side out against Udinese.
Astori is reported to have died suddenly on Sunday morning in a Udine hotel, where La Viola were basing themselves ahead of Sunday’s Serie A clash, which has been called off.
The defender died following a “sudden illness”, his club confirmed on their official Twitter feed.
Fiorentina were scheduled to play Udinese in Serie A on Sunday afternoon but the game has been called off.
Astori, capped 14 times by Italy, joined Fiorentina in 2016 from Cagliari and had made 58 appearances for the club.
Cagliari postponed their game against Genoa on Sunday morning.
“Fiorentina are profoundly shocked to have to announce the death of captain Davide Astori after a sudden illness,” Fiorentina said.
“Given this terrible and delicate situation we appeal to everyone’s sensitivity at this time, above all out of respect for his family.”
Astori came through the youth system at AC Milan before joining Cagliari in 2008.
He spent eight years at the club and had loan spells at Roma and Fiorentina before moving permanently to the latter two years ago.