Fiorentina and Cagliari pay flawless tribute to Davide Astori

Fiorentina retire Davide Astori's No 13 shirt

The whole of Italy and the footballing world beyond has registered its collective shock and disbelief after the sudden death overnight on Saturday of Fiorentina captain and Italian worldwide defender Davide Astori at just 31 years of age.

"At this time, there is no responsibility on the part of anybody, who may seem to be able to respond to anything".

Federico Bernardeschi, who also played with Astori at Fiorentina for the past three seasons, will miss the game because of injury but is expected to attend Thursday's funeral along with his Juventus teammates after returning from London.

That will be the first game involving an Italian club since Astori's death, and with numerous squad due to attend his funeral in Florence on Thursday, it will be an emotional occasion.

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Among the other Serie A games to be postponed was Sunday evening's Milan derby between AC and Inter.

Buffon called Astori "a great man", while Bonucci recalled their times together.

His popularity among his squadmates made him a valuable tournament commodity for worldwide managers.

"Fiorentina is deeply shocked, and has to communicate that its captain Davide Astori has passed away", the Florence team said in a tweet.

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The remaining seven fixtures, apart from the Milan derby, will now be played on April 3 and 4 with the Lega rejecting the alternative of March 14 since this comes too soon after Astori's death. He then went on to Fiorentina via a season-long loan stay in the Italian capital with AS Roma, spending three years at the heart of the Fiorentina defense and becoming their captain.

Astori scored his only global goal in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup third-place playoff against Uruguay, giving Italy a first-half lead in a match that finished 2-2. He said: "You always smiled as you were an honest, down-to-earth person". R.I.P. Il tuo folle Gigi.

"You were the best expression of an old-fashioned world, one that people have left behind, with values like altruism, elegance, politeness and respect towards others. You've been one of the best sportspeople I've ever met". We are all under shock.

Astori leaves behind a wife and a two-year-old daughter.

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