Fiorentina captain Davide Astori has died, the Serie A club have confirmed.
The 31-year-old passed away in his hotel room during his sleep, in the hours preceding La Viola's game away at Udinese, which has since been cancelled.
“Fiorentina are profoundly shaken and forced to announce that their captain Davide Astori has died,” read the statement.
“For this terrible and delicate situation, and above all out of respect for his family, we appeal to the sensitivity of the media.”
La Fiorentina profondamente sconvolta si trova costretta a comunicare che e' scomparso il suo capitano Davide Astori, colto da improvviso malore.— ACF Fiorentina (@acffiorentina) March 4, 2018
Per la terribile e delicata situazione, e soprattutto per rispetto della sua famiglia si fa appello alla sensibilità di tutti. pic.twitter.com/bFGnkReWEC
Along with Fiorentina's fixture, Serie A has confirmed that all of Sunday's top flight games in Italy have also been postponed as a mark of respect for Astori.
Astori began his career at AC Milan before joining Cagliari in 2008. It was with the Sardinian side that he became a regular Serie A starter, making 174 appearances for the club and getting a call up to the Italian national team for the 2013 Confederations Cup, where he scored his only international goal in the third-place playoff against Uruguay.
In 2014 he spent a year on loan at Roma, and then in 2015 went on loan again to Fiorentina, albeit with an obligation to buy at the end of the season.
The tragic news was resulted in a wave of condolences messages from the world of soccer, with clubs and players across the globe offering words of support for Astori's family.
Il Barcellona esprime tutto il suo cordoglio per la perdita inaspettata del vostro capitano, Davide Astori.— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 4, 2018
Siamo vicini alla Fiorentina, agli amici e a tutta la famiglia di Davide.
Che tu possa riposare in pace.
⚫️ Everyone at SSC Napoli is shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Davide Astori. Our thoughts are with his family at this terrible time 💜— Official SSC Napoli (@en_sscnapoli) March 4, 2018
We’d like to express our deepest condolences to Davide Astori’s family and @acffiorentina.— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) March 4, 2018