Who Was Davide Astori? Italian Soccer Star Dies Suddenly At 31

The international football community is mourning the passing of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori at the age of 31.

The defender died following a "sudden illness" the night prior to a Sunday match with Udinese, his club confirmed on their official Twitter feed. The game was immediately called off, followed by all other Sunday Italian Serie A fixtures.

In a statement, Fiorentina lamented Astori's passing and wished his family well-wishes in this time of need.

Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italy - February 9, 2018 Fiorentina's Davide Astori reacts. Picture taken February 9, 2018. REUTERS

"Fiorentina are profoundly shocked to have to announce the death of captain Davide Astori after a sudden illness," Fiorentina said. "For this terrible and delicate situation, and above all out of respect for his family, we appeal to the sensitivity of the media."

Astori leaves behind a wife and a two-year-old daughter.

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

Astori began his professional career with Italian team Cagliari in 2008 after coming through the AC Milan youth system. He spent time on loan at Roma and Fiorentina before joining the latter club two years ago on a permanent basis after a six-year tenure with Cagliari.

Tributes from former teams, coaches, and teammates spread across social media on Sunday.

Radja Nainggolan, Astori's former Cagliari teammate wrote on Instagram: "A great player, but even more than that, a great person. How many battles we were in together at Cagliari, then found each other again at Roma I still can't believe it. My thoughts are with his family and those close to him. RIP."

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

Former Roma manager Rudi Garcia tweeted: "The news of the untimely death of my former player Davide Astori pains me. A professional and exemplary guy. I am close to the family and his loved ones. Rest in peace Davide."

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

According to the Associated Press, Astori's body has been taken to the Santa Maria della Misericordia Hospital for an autopsy.

Fiorentina sits at the tenth spot of the Serie A.