Soccer world reacts to Davide Astori's death with sadness, tributes

(Screenshot: <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/soccer/players/gianluigi-buffon/" data-ylk="slk:Gianluigi Buffon">Gianluigi Buffon</a> on Instagram)
(Screenshot: Gianluigi Buffon on Instagram)

Italy, and the soccer world as a whole, were stunned Sunday morning by the news that Davide Astori, Fiorentina’s captain and a former Italian national team defender, had died suddenly in his hotel room.

As word trickled through to players and sadness spread, hundreds of Astori’s former teammates, opponents and friends took to social media to pay tribute to the 31-year-old.

Italian national team captain Gianluigi Buffon wrote an extended message on Instagram, in which he wrote that Astori’s daughter “deserves to know that her father was in all respects a respectable person … a great respectable person.”

“You were the best expression of an old-fashioned, ancient world, in which values such as altruism, elegance, education and respect for others, were [paramount],” Buffon wrote. “Sincere congratulations, you were one of the best sports figures I ever came across.”

Astori came up through AC Milan’s academy before departing for Cagliari. Milan legend Franco Baresi wrote on Twitter: “Incredulous, a tragedy, I am without words. I watched you grow up and was proud of the path you were making. I cling to the pain of your family. RIP Davide.”

Former Milan player Clarence Seedorf, who played against Astori, sent his condolences:

The club’s official Twitter account called Astori “a man who loved football and who grew up as [a] footballer with us.”

After spending several years with Cagliari, Astori spent one season at Roma. Roma legend Francesco Totti, whom Astori spent that one season with, wrote: “Shocked, incredulous and speechless over this tragedy. I am close to the family and friends of Davide #Astori.”

Andrea Pirlo, a former Italy teammate of Astori’s, wrote:

Players with no connection to Italian soccer were touched by Astori’s death as well. Spain and Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos said he was “shocked by the sad news,” and wrote, “a hug to his family and to all of Fiorentina.”

Plenty of other big-name players, managers and organizations paid their respects in light of the tragedy:

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Henry Bushnell covers global soccer, and occasionally other ball games, for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell.

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