Fiorentina captain Davide Astori has died, aged 31.

The Serie A side confirmed the death of the central defender in a short statement on their official website.

It read: "Fiorentina are deeply upset to report that captain Davide Astori has died of a sudden illness.

"For the terrible and delicate situation, and above all for the respect of his family, sensitivity is called for." 

Fiorentina were due to face Udinese in Serie A this afternoon, but the match has been postponed because of the death of the former Italian international.

All of today's Serie A matches were later called off by the league.

Hosts Udinese tweeted: "Following the tragic news of this morning that hit Fiorentina and the whole football world, the Udinese-Fiorentina match was postponed to a date to be decided by the league."

Astori started his career with AC Milan but did not play a competitive match for the Rossoneri, and after loan spells with Serie C clubs Pizighettone and Cremonese he joined Cagliari in 2008, playing for the club until 2016.

During his time on the books of the Sardinian side, Astori had loan spells with Roma and Fiorentina, joining the latter permanently in 2016.

After representing Italy Under-18s, Astori played 11 times at senior level. His debut in March 2011 in a 2-0 victory over Ukraine in Kiev was eventful - he was introduced as a first-half substitute before being sent off with 15 minutes remaining after receiving two yellow cards.

Astori scored his only international goal in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup third-place play-off against Uruguay in Salvador, giving Italy a first-half lead in a match which finished 2-2. The Azzurri won the contest on penalties.