Confirmed: Astori died of cardiac arrest

Confirmed: Astori died of cardiac arrest

Confirmed: Astori died of cardiac arrest

Fiorentina have chose to retire the No. 13 shirt worn by Davide Astori following the tragic death of their captain at the weekend.

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.

"The belief is that the player died of a cardiac arrest by natural causes", Udine prosecutor Antonio De Nicolo told the Associated Press.

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

"UEFA is deeply shocked and saddened by the passing of Davide Astori, a talented footballer who was dedicated to the game", said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.

Former Italy coach Antonio Conte and World Cup victor Gianluigi Buffon paid emotional tributes to Astori, describing their Italian compatriot as "fantastic" and "a great guy".

Buffon called Astori "a great man", while Bonucci recalled their times together.

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A shirt was also pinned up in his honour, with his ex-team-mates all signing the jersey as they paid their respect to the 14-cap worldwide.

Fiorentina owner Andrea Della Valle revealed that the defender was due to sign a contract last Thursday - an extension that would have meant he saw out his career at the Stadio Artemio Franchi - a meeting that was postponed until Monday due to bad weather.

After representing Italy Under-18s, Astori played 14 times at senior level.

Following the death of the Fiorentina captain, the club officially stated, "Fiorentina are profoundly shaken and forced to announce that their captain Davide Astori has died".

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

His lone goal for the Azzurri came in a 2013 Confederations Cup third-place match against Uruguay. "He was a great player, especially a fantastic guy".

The centre-back would go on to make 174 appearances in Sardinia, and earn his first Italy cap against Ukraine in 2011. "I wish to send my condolences to Davide's family", the former Fiorentina, Leicester and Chelsea boss said.

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