Buffon writes heartfelt tribute to Astori, England to honour the defender

Davide Astori's sudden death prompted a beautiful tribute from Italy icon Gianluigi Buffon.

Gianluigi Buffon and Davide Astori at an Italy kit launch in 2015   -  Getty Images

Gianluigi Buffon posted a heartfelt message on Instagram following the death of Davide Astori, who will be honoured when England host Italy at Wembley later this month.

Fiorentina captain Astori was found dead in his hotel room ahead of Sunday's match against Udinese, with all Serie A fixtures consequently postponed. The cause of the 31-year-old's death remains unclear.

Buffon played alongside Astori for Italy, the defender earning 14 caps across his career, and uploaded an eloquent tribute to his former team-mate on social media.

"Ciao dear Asto," Buffon wrote on Instagram.

"I rarely publicly express my thoughts on a person, because I always allowed the beauty and unique nature of rapports, of reciprocal respect and affection, to avoid being used or misused by those who don't have the decency to respect certain bonds.

"In your case, I feel the need to make an exception to the rule, because you have a young wife and family who are suffering, but above all a little girl, who deserves to know that her father was in every way A GOOD PERSON... a TRULY GOOD PERSON...

"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.

"Compliments genuinely, you were one of the best sporting figures I ever came up against.

"R.I.P. Your crazy Gigi."

The Football Association (FA) also confirmed there will be a memorial for Astori when Italy travel to England for a friendly on March 27.

"All of us at the @FA are truly saddened by the news of Davide Astori's death. Our condolences are with his family and all who knew him," a statement posted on the England twitter account read.

"We plan to honour Davide when we host the @azzurri at @wembleystadium later this month."

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