Tragedy has struck Italian Football Federation as Atalanta midfielder, Andrea Rinaldi dies at the age of 19 after suffering a brain aneurysm.
The youngster, who had been observing the national lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic was training at home when he reportedly became critically ill on Friday.
Confirming his death, Atalanta said in a statement: ‘Just as on the pitch, you were always the last to surrender, this time too you fought with all your might not to fly away too soon – but that kind smile of yours will always remain alive in the hearts of those who had the good fortune to meet you.’
Legnano also paid an emotional tribute to Rinaldi, who they described as a ‘warrior’.
‘AC Legnano, the city and the entire football universe, at all levels, today live one of their most upsetting days,’ the statement began.
Andrea Rinaldi, our warrior, has left us. An aneurysm snatched him in the prime of life, with a life ahead of him and with a career that promised bright goals. A sudden and shocking tragedy, impossible even to imagine.’
The club chairman Giovanni Munafo described Rinaldi as an ‘extraordinary boy’ who had a ‘warrior’ spirit.
‘When Andrea came to training, he came first to greet me. This is a memory I will carry in my heart,’ Munafo said, via Goal.
‘An extraordinary boy, an example for everyone. On behalf of the club, I express my deepest condolences to the family.
‘We are sure that Andrea, from up there, will be the usual warrior like always, who fought in the middle of the pitch to bring the Legnano fans joy.’
Until his death, Rinaldi was on loan at Fourth Division side, Legnano.
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