Football fans across the world were shocked to learn of Davide Astori’s untimely passing at the age of 31. The Fiorentina captain was honored by his peers through numerous online tributes.
Italian football is mourning following the death of midfielder Davide Astori. The player suffered sudden cardiac arrest. He was only 31 and is survived by a wife and daughter.
The weekend’s Serie A matches were postponed as a sign of respect. Tributes from the football world quickly followed through various social media channels.
Current Chelsea manager Antonio Conte described Astori as a “a fantastic guy”. Conte, who was at the time coach for the Italian national football team, offered the midfielder his debut for the Squadra Azzurra. Astori was capped 14 times for Italy between 2016 and 2016.
“[The news] really hurt me. It’s very difficult in this moment to find the right words for the family. I had him with the national team. It’s very hard in this moment to speak about this tragedy.
“He was a fantastic guy. He was a great player but especially a fantastic guy. I stay close to his family in this moment because he was only 31 and it’s very difficult to explain the situation with his wife, the parents, the daughter,” Conte told Sky Sports reporters.
We’re saddened by the passing of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori. Our condolences are with his friends and family.
RIP Davide. pic.twitter.com/AlIqBNoSJ6
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 4, 2018
During his all too brief career, Astori amassed the reputation as one of Italy’s most dependable midfielders. He began his career as a graduate of AC Milan’s youth academy. He made his Serie A debut for Cagliari for which he made 174 appearances. Astori became somewhat of a cult hero for the club and attracted the attention of many high-profile clubs. His next career move saw him play for AS Roma. Astori then switched to Fiorentina, where he became the team captain.
The thoughts of everyone at Manchester United are with the family, friends and colleagues of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori following his tragic passing. pic.twitter.com/8g0oMIXZ8C
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 4, 2018
La Viola club president Andrea Della Valle talked about Astori’s influence at the club. He revealed that on Monday the midfielder was due to receive an extension on his contract as reward for his performances. Della Valle says the player was determined to retire from his career in Florence.
“He was going to sign a new contract on Monday, so he could see out his career in Florence. It was originally meant to be on Thursday, but we postponed it because of all the chaos caused by the bad weather. I am still in shock.”
“He was a reference point for the whole team. We talked for a good half an hour after the Bologna game [a 2-1 win on February 4] and he was telling me all about the project and the new lads. It was like he was already a coach or a sporting director. We have to go on and I ask you to understand what our state of mind is right now. The lads must find the strength to react.”
“I am proud to have known him. Astori was the first to believe in this reboot for the club and we will always miss him. He was a true captain,” Andrea Della Valle remembers Astori.
Italy teammates Leonardo Bonucci and Gianluigi Buffon paid their respects to Davide Astori. They remembered the time spent with the midfielder. Astori will be honored when Italy play England later this month on Wembley stadium.
“Ciao Grande Asto. That’s what I called you when we’d meet, for a game that saw us as opponents or for a Nazionale get-together. A smile, an embrace – one of the real ones – a person who was fair, honest and humble,” Bonucci said.
“Ciao dear Asto. I rarely publicly express my thoughts on a person, because I always allowed the beauty and unique nature of rapports, of reciprocal respect and affection, to avoid being used or misused by those who don’t have the decency to respect certain bonds.”
“In your case, I feel the need to make an exception to the rule, because you have a young wife and family who are suffering, but above all a little girl, who deserves to know that her father was in every way A GOOD PERSON… a TRULY GOOD PERSON…” Buffon wrote on social media.
As a result of the Serie A matches being postponed, so has the FootballCoin contest for the Serie A – Round 27. Also, the players selected in the “Derby Della Madonnina” between AC Milan-Inter game featured in the Super Sunday contest will receive 0 points as a consequence of the match not being played.