Davide Astori, the 31-year-old captain of Fiorentina and a former Italian international, died suddenly on Sunday morning, his club confirmed.
Astori was found dead in his hotel room on the morning of Fiorentina’s game at Udinese. According to reports in Italy, teammates broke down the door to the room when Astori did not show up for the team’s scheduled breakfast.
The cause of death is not yet known. Fiorentina, in a statement, called it a “sudden illness.”
Fiorentina’s match against Udinese has been postponed, as have the six other Serie A fixtures slated for Sunday. Those include the Milan derby, AC Milan vs. Inter Milan. Makeup dates will be decided by the league.
Astori’s 12-year professional career had included stops at AC Milan, Roma and Cagliari, though he never appeared in a competitive match for Milan. He made his breakthrough for Cagliari in 2009.
The center back received his first Italy call-up in 2011, and made 14 appearances for the national team, most recently in 2017. He scored his lone senior international goal at the Confederations Cup against Uruguay in 2013.
His death has been felt throughout Italy and the world of soccer in general, with stunned reactions and condolences pouring in from everywhere. Fans hung a banner outside Benevento’s stadium that read, “R.I.P. Astori.”
AC Milan, whose academy Astori rose through before turning professional, offered a touching message. “A man who loved football and who grew up as a footballer with us,” a statement on the club’s official Twitter account read. “It is with great sadness that we offer our deepest condolences to his family and to ACF Fiorentina.”