Davide Astori, the captain of Italy's ACF Fiorentina football club, has died of cardiac arrest by natural causes and he was 31, multiple sources have confirmed.
He was found dead in a hotel room in Udine, where the team had been due to face Udinese later on Sunday. Davide's mortal remains were taken to hospital for a post-mortem examination.
Antonio De Nicolo, the Udine prosecutor, said,
The belief is that the player died of a cardiac arrest by natural causes.
It is strange that such a thing should happen to a professional who is so closely monitored without there being any warning signs.
The FIGC's thoughts are with the directors, coaches and staff who knew and respected Davide throughout Italian football, while we also offer our most profound condolences to the Astori family. pic.twitter.com/nCQbfmyPwN
— Italy (@azzurri) March 4, 2018
La Fiorentina profondamente sconvolta si trova costretta a comunicare che e' scomparso il suo capitano Davide Astori, colto da improvviso malore.
Per la terribile e delicata situazione, e soprattutto per rispetto della sua famiglia si fa appello alla sensibilità di tutti. pic.twitter.com/bFGnkReWEC
— ACF Fiorentina (@acffiorentina) March 4, 2018
— UEFA (@UEFA) March 4, 2018
Con la nostra maglia hai realizzato i tuoi sogni, hai fatto gol in Nazionale, sei stato il nostro capitano coraggioso. Ti sei fatto amare dalla nostra gente e hai amato la nostra terra. Ciao Davide. pic.twitter.com/vyXJIa4ypF
— Cagliari Calcio (@CagliariCalcio) March 4, 2018
The club is devastated to learn of the death of Davide Astori. The thoughts of everyone at AS Roma are with the player's family, friends and teammates at this terrible and tragic time. pic.twitter.com/vDlL4LIkJr
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) March 4, 2018
In Italy, professional footballers are said to undergo regular health checks every six months.
Davide, father a 2-year-old daughter, had been capped 14 times by Italy and had a professional career for 12 years.
The center-back started out at AC Milan, where the pro footballer never played a Serie A match, before moving to Cagliari, the club where he made his big breakthrough.
A man who loved football and who grew up as footballer with us. #ACMilan are shocked by the passing of Davide #Astori. It is with great sadness that we offer our deepest condolences to his family and closed ones and to ACF Fiorentina
— AC Milan (@acmilan) March 4, 2018
Davide made 174 appearances for the Sardinians in a six years spell, during which he made his national team debut.