Investigation opened into Astori's death

A judicial inquiry has been launched following the death of 31-year-old Italian footballer Davide Astori, who died on Sunday after a suspected heart attack.

"We have opened a manslaughter investigation, against X for the moment," Antonio de Nicolo, a magistrate in the northeastern city of Udine, told Rai radio, adding that such a procedure was "mandatory".

He also said arrangements were in place for an autopsy.

Fiorentina and Italy international defender Astori was found dead from a suspected heart attack in his hotel room in Udine, where his team were staying ahead of Sunday's scheduled Serie A game with Udinese.

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

Meanwhile, tributes poured in from figures such as Chelsea boss Antonio Conte and his ex-teammates goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and Leonardo Bonucci.

Conte, who coached the defender when he was in charge of the Italian national team, said Astori "was a great player but especially a fantastic guy".

Buffon called Astori "a great man", while Bonucci recalled their times together. He said: "You always smiled as you were an honest, down-to-earth person. How many times did we laugh together?" - AFP