Italian defender Davide Astori has suddenly passed away in a hotel room, right before he, along with the rest of the Fiorentina squad, were scheduled to play Udinese on the road. The captain of the Lilies has just recently turned 31 years of age (January 7), so his unexpected death came as a shock to everyone in the football world. According to online sportsbook news, the chiefs at Serie A have decided to postpone all the scheduled games out of respect for Astori.
The captain will be missed by his family and club
After the shocking news broke out, Fiorentina immediately released a statement expressing their deepest sorrow for losing their captain, and have called for his family’s privacy as they go through this ordeal. Astori has left behind a two-year-old daughter Vittoria that he had with his partner Francesca Fioretti.
“Fiorentina are profoundly shaken and forced to announce that their captain Davide Astori has died,” the statement said. “For this terrible and delicate situation, and above all out of respect for his family, we appeal to the sensitivity of the media.”
Astori initially joined Fiorentina from Cagliari on loan ahead of the 2015/16 campaign, but the move became permanent the following season; in total he had made 109 appearances for the Lilies, and had scored 3 goals in the process. The San Giovanni Bianco native started off his youth career with AC Milan, but never played a professional game with them, having effectively made his name with Cagliari with whom he had spent six seasons with between 2008 and 2014, making 178 appearances.
Between 2011 and 2017, Astori featured 14 times for Italy’s national side as he was used sparingly by various managers. Despite his limited number of performances on the international stage, he managed to score one goal for the Azzurri that came against Uruguay in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.
Fiorentina face even greater struggles after Astori’s death
Fiorentina currently find themselves in the middle of the table in 10th position with 35 points. It’s difficult to tell whether they’ll be able to make significant progress up the table – breaking into the top 4 or top 6 that rewards clubs with European football – before the season ends, especially since the club will not have to deal with Astori’s unexpected death. It won’t be a matter of replacing him on the pitch, but rather dealing with the psychological impacts this will have on the squad and the club itself.
Stadio Artemio Franchi was covered with scarves by fans in memory of their late captain (source: The Guardian)
Napoli are still leading the Serie A table with 69 points (1 more than their biggest rivals Juventus), despite dropping points against Roma on Saturday, as they suffered a humiliating 2-4 defeat in front of the home support. Online sportsbooks in Italy still favour Juventus to win the league outright with odds of 1.44 (11/25), while Napoli are second on the list 2.62 (81/50) although they’re currently in the lead on the table. All the other sides in the Italian top flight are outsiders for the title, as even third-placed AS Roma are 15 points behind defending champions Juventus – a side that has won the last six championships consecutively.
(Take a look at Bet365 Sportsbook review for more info about the online betting site.)