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

Football world pays tribute to Davide Astori after Fiorentina captain's tragic death at the age of just 31

The 31-year-old Italy worldwide centre-back died on the night of Saturday into Sunday, on the eve of his team's Serie A trip to Udinese, which was subsequently postponed.

Astori had been expected to play against Udinese in their top-flight clash on Sunday, but was found dead in his hotel room just hours before kick-off.

An autopsy will be carried out in Udine on Tuesday morning by Carlo Moreschi and Gaetano Thiene after head prosecutor Antonio De Nicolo confirmed that investigations have been opened to see if anyone could be found culpable in Astori's death.

The 31-year-old was married with a daughter and had made 289 appearances in Italy's top division.

Radja Nainggolan, Astori's former Cagliari teammate wrote on Instagram: "A great player, but even more than that, a great person".

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

Meanwhile, fans of the Italian club have started to pay their respects to Astori by leaving tributes and flowers outside the club's stadium, Stadio Artemio Franchi.

Astori was capped 14 times internationally and has also played for the likes of AC Milan, Cagliari and Roma.

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

The remainder of Serie A's slate of games was postponed after news of Astori's passing was announced by Fiorentina, with players from around the world expressing their shock and sadness at his untimely passing.

His wife was informed of the news by Fiorentina directors who visited her personally, while Astori's parents, who live in Bergamo, were told on the telephone.

Italy visit Wembley later this month for a friendly with England and the Football Association has said it will honour Astori, saying it was "truly saddened" by the news. "This news really hurt me and it's very hard in this moment to find the right words for the family".

Buffon called Astori "a great man", while Bonucci recalled their times together. "You've been one of the best sportspeople I've ever met". Italy would go on to win the match on penalty kicks.