Italy woke up to the tragic news of the death of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori. The club confirmed on their Twitter handle that the 31-year-old Italy international had died in his sleep after a sudden illness.
The team were in a Udine hotel, all set to take on Udinese on Sunday in Serie A before tragedy struck. As a result of his death, all league games were postponed as the country mourned his death.
Everyone from clubs to players released statements of condolences as the word spread and the football fraternity came together to send their love to his family and the club.
Translation: Fiorentina are deeply upset to announce that captain Davide Astori has died after a sudden illness. We appeal to everyone's sensibility for this tragic and delicate situation and, above all, to respect his family.
Translation: Shocked by the tragic news, the whole family of the Serie A is with the family of Davide Astori and the Fiorentina. All the matches scheduled today are postponed as a sign of mourning. Farewell Davide.
Buffon's message on Instagram (translated)
I’ve hardly ever publicly expressed a thought about a person, because I have always felt that the beauty and the uniqueness of relationships, mutual esteem and affection, should not be exploited or thrown at those who do not have the delicacy to respect certain ties.
In your case, I feel I have to make an exception to my rule, because you have a young wife and family members who are suffering, but especially your little girl, who deserves to know that her father was in all respects a PERFECT PERSON ... A GREAT AND PERFECT PERSON ...
You were the best expression of an ancient, surpassed world, in which values such as altruism, elegance, education and respect for others, were the masters.
Congratulations indeed, you were one of the best sports figures I came across.
Your crazy Gigi.
Translation: Shocked, incredulous and speechless at this tragedy. My thoughts are with the family and friends of Davide Astori.
Translation: What terrible news, how sad... All my affection to the family and friends of David, to Fiorentina and his fans, and to all Italian football. We won't forget you. RIP
Translation: Incredulous, a tragedy that has left me speechless. I saw you grow up and was proud of the path you were on. I cling to the pain of the family. RIP Davide.
Translation: Barcelona expresses its condolences for the unexpected loss of your captain, Davide Astori. We are with Fiorentina, friends and the whole family of Davide. May you rest in peace.
Translation: What bad news. Rest in peace, Davide Astori. Condolences to his family and Fiorentina.
Antonio Puerta was a former Sevilla player who died after a series of cardiac arrests in their first La Liga game of the 2007/08 season. He lost concsiousness on the pitch, was substituted, collapsed in the dressing room again, and then died in the hospital due to multiple organ failure and irreversible brain damage.
Translation: I have no words.
Translation: Everything else becomes unimportant... There really are no words. RIP Davide.
Real Madrid's official statement: "Real Madrid is deeply saddened by the death of ACF Fiorentina captain, Davide Astori and would like to extend their condolences to his family, friends and teammates.
"Real Madrid shares the pain of Italian football at this incredibly difficult time."