European football mourns Davide Astori

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin has expressed UEFA's shock and sadness at the sudden death of Fiorentina and Italy defender Davide Astori at the age of 31.

Davide Astori in action for Fiorentina
Davide Astori in action for Fiorentina ©Getty Images

Italian and European football are mourning Fiorentina captain and Italian international Davide Astori, who has passed away suddenly at the age of 31. A minute's silence will be observed before every UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League game this week in his honour.

The defender's passing was announced ahead of Sunday's Serie A match against Udinese, which was subsequently cancelled along with all scheduled Serie A and Serie B fixtures.

"Fiorentina are profoundly shaken to announce that their captain Davide Astori has died," the club said in a statement.

After setting out on his career in AC Milan's youth academy, Astori made his name with Cagliari, playing 174 league games with the Sardinian club before moving to Roma on loan in the 2014/15 season. He joined Fiorentina the following summer, initially on loan, before signing for the Florence club. He was appointed captain ahead of the current campaign.

Astori won 14 caps for Italy between 2011 and 2017.

"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.

"On behalf of European football, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy to his family, the ACF Fiorentina club, the Italian Football Federation and the Italian football community."