Davide Astori was due to sign a new contract with Fiorentina tomorrow, revealed patron Andrea Della Valle. “He was going to see out his career in Florence.”
The captain turned 31 in January and was found dead in his hotel room this morning, where the team was preparing for a Serie A match against Udinese.
“It’s difficult to stand here, it’s such an immense tragedy,” Della Valle told reporters outside the Fiorentina training ground, where the squad has now returned.
“Thinking of his family and the lads, I don’t know what to say. He was going to sign a new contract on Monday, so he could see out his career in Florence.
“It was originally meant to be Thursday, but we postponed it because of all the chaos caused by the bad weather. I am still in shock.
“He was a reference point for the whole team. We talked for a good half-hour after the Bologna game and he was telling me all about the project and the new lads. He seemed to already be like a Coach or a sporting director…
“We have to go on and I ask you to understand what our state of mind is right now. The lads must find the strength to react.
“I am proud to have known him. Astori was the first to believe in this reboot for the club and we will always miss him. He was a true captain.
“The city should stay close to his family. It’s just such a shock. He was a special figure in the locker room, you can see from the affection his teammates have for him.”