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Fiorentina, Italy defender Astori dies suddenly

ACF Fiorentina v UC Sampdoria - Tim Cup

FLORENCE, ITALY - DECEMBER 13: Davide Astori of ACF Fiorentina reacts during the Tim Cup match between ACF Fiorentina and UC Sampdoria at Stadio Artemio Franchi on December 13, 2017 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

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Tragedy has struck Italian soccer as Fiorentina and Italy defender Davide Astori, 31, died suddenly overnight.

Astori was Fiorentina’s captain and a key member of La Viola and reports state he was found dead in the team hotel ahead of their Serie A game at Udinese on Sunday.

Fiorentina confirmed Astori’s death early on Sunday, saying their captain was struck by a “sudden illness” and the club was “deeply distraught” at the passing of a hugely influential figure.

Astori became a father two weeks ago and early reports suggest he died of a heart attack.

Their game against Udinese has been canceled as the club mourns Astori’s death, while all games in Serie A have been postponed on Sunday following the tragic news.

Astori played 14 times for the Italian national team and the center back previously played for AC Milan, Cagliari and Roma during his 12-year career.

Tributes have poured in from across Italian soccer for Astori.

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