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.”
Ciao caro Asto, difficilmente ho espresso pubblicamente un pensiero riguardo una persona, perché ho sempre lasciato che la bellezza e l'unicità di rapporti, di reciproca stima e affetto, non venissero strumentalizzati o gettati in pasto a chi non ha la delicatezza per rispettare certi legami. Nel tuo caso, sento di fare un'eccezione alla mia regola, perché hai una moglie giovane e dei familiari che staranno soffrendo,ma soprattutto la tua piccola bimba, merita di sapere che il suo papà era a tutti gli effetti una PERSONA PERBENE…..una GRANDE PERSONA PERBENE….eri l'espressione migliore di un mondo antico, superato, nel quale valori come l'altruismo, l'eleganza, l'educazione e il rispetto verso il prossimo, la facevano da padroni. Complimenti davvero, sei stata una delle migliori figure sportive nella quale mi sono imbattuto. R.I.P. Il tuo folle Gigi.
A post shared by Gianluigi Buffon (@gianluigibuffon) on Mar 4, 2018 at 4:41am PST
“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.”
Incredulo, una tragedia sono senza parole, ti ho visto crescere e orgoglioso del percorso che stavi facendo. Mi stringo al dolore della famiglia RIP Davide pic.twitter.com/b6alvSRViV
— Franco Baresi (@FBaresi) March 4, 2018
Former Milan player Clarence Seedorf, who played against Astori, sent his condolences:
Life is precious and we need to enjoy every day of it. I send my most sincere condolences to Davide’s family and I thank you Davide for having been a great opponent on the pitch and for all you have done for football. Rest In Peace #DavideAstori
A post shared by Clarence Seedorf (@clarenceseedorf) on Mar 4, 2018 at 4:04am PST
The club’s official Twitter account called Astori “a man who loved football and who grew up as [a] footballer with us.”
A man who loved football and who grew up as footballer with us. #ACMilan are shocked by the passing of Davide #Astori. It is with great sadness that we offer our deepest condolences to his family and closed ones and to ACF Fiorentina
— AC Milan (@acmilan) March 4, 2018
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.”
Scioccato, incredulo e senza parole per questa tragedia. Sono vicino alla famiglia e agli amici di Davide #Astori.
— Francesco Totti (@Totti) March 4, 2018
Andrea Pirlo, a former Italy teammate of Astori’s, wrote:
Senza parole.. alla fine se ne vanno sempre i migliori… buon viaggio amico mio. RIP ❤️ pic.twitter.com/BHwH5abZZ6
— Andrea Pirlo (@Pirlo_official) March 4, 2018
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.”
Conmocionado por la triste noticia del fallecimiento de Davide Astori. Un abrazo a su familia y a toda la @acffiorentina .
Descansa en paz, capitano.
Riposa in pace, capitano. pic.twitter.com/L3KQ0ymzbk
— Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) March 4, 2018
Plenty of other big-name players, managers and organizations paid their respects in light of the tragedy:
— Kevin-Prince Boateng (@KPBofficial) March 4, 2018
— Paulo Dybala (@PauDybala_JR) March 4, 2018
Riposa in pace, Davide.
Non ci sono altre parole. pic.twitter.com/mVHwIQKvxU
— Javier Zanetti (@javierzanetti) March 4, 2018
— Fabio Cannavaro (@fabiocannavaro) March 4, 2018
Che notizia terribile, quanta tristezza… Tutto il mio affetto ai familiari e agli amici di Davide, alla Fiorentina e ai suoi tifosi, e a tutto il calcio italiano. Non ti dimenticheremo. RIP pic.twitter.com/wm9NTM6dGq
— Carlo Ancelotti (@MrAncelotti) March 4, 2018
— Sergio Kun Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) March 4, 2018
— Iker Casillas (@IkerCasillas) March 4, 2018
The FIGC's thoughts are with the directors, coaches and staff who knew and respected Davide throughout Italian football, while we also offer our most profound condolences to the Astori family. pic.twitter.com/nCQbfmyPwN
— Italy (@azzurri) March 4, 2018
— UEFA (@UEFA) March 4, 2018
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