Manslaughter investigation opened into Davide Astori's death, no suggestion of foul play

Italy's top football league postponed its Sunday games to mourn the loss of Fiorentina captain and Italy global Davide Astori, whose team said he died of sudden illness at the age of 31.

The Romania worldwide shot-stopper is a former team-mate of the 31-year-old, who passed away prior to a Serie A fixture against Udinese scheduled for Sunday.

The Serie A club announced Astori's death on Sunday, just hours before they were due to face Udinese.

Earlier, Giovanni Malago, the acting head of the Lega Serie A and president of the Italian Olympic Committee, called for sensitivity and not to speculate over the cause of Astori's death and whether enough had been done to prevent it.

Fiorentina and Cagliari have announced they are retiring the No.13 shirt out of respect for Davide Astori.

He said: "It's very hard to speak about this tragedy".

"I think that David has done what he owed in this chaotic world and that now he is in a better world".

Astori made 14 appearance for Italy
Astori made 14 appearance for Italy

Astori is pictured on the Instagram account of his girlfriend - Francesca Fioretti - with two-year-old daughter, Vittoria. "You've been one of the best sportspeople I've ever met". "He was a great player, especially a fantastic guy".

His former club Cagliari, for whom he played 174 games over six seasons, has also chose to honour the former Italy worldwide with the same gesture.

Alonso played alongside Astori at Fiorentina during the 2015-16 season, a year prior to his move to Stamford Bridge.

Sunday's lunchtime Serie A game between Cagliari, Astori's former club, and Genoa was about to begin when the news broke. I stay very close to his family in this moment because he was only 31. He made over 100 appearances for the club.

Cagliari, who Astori spent eight years with, wrote: "With our jersey you made your dreams, you made goals in the national, you were out fearless captain".

"Davide was always the epitome of great professionalism and reliability", Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco tweeted. Italy went on to win on penalties.

"In our country we have a lot more checks and there are few like us in the world".

  • Rosalie Stanley