Atalanta midfielder Andrea Rinaldi died on Monday three days after he was hospitalized for a brain aneurysm. He was 19.
Rinaldi, on loan in Italy with Serie D club Legnano, was training at his home due to the COVID-19 crisis restrictions on Friday when he fell ill and was taken to a hospital in Varese. AC Legnano confirmed the news Monday.
“AC Legnano, the city and the entire football universe, at all levels, today live one of their most upsetting days. 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 called him “a golden boy” who was “exemplary in life and play.” He had 23 appearances this season with one goal.
“Never a word and a tone out of place, never a protest and a controversy, always and only fairness, commitment, education and respect,” the club wrote in an English translation.
"When Andrea came to training, he came first to greet me. This is a memory I will carry in my heart,” Legnano chairman Giovanni Munafo said, via the statement.
Legnano announced details of a funeral at Cermenate Stadium and said his No. 8 will be delivered to the family with no one allowed to wear it in the future. Rinaldi would have turned 20 on June 23.
Rinaldi came through the academy system with Atalanta, beginning with the club at the age of 13. He was a part of the title-winning Scudetto and the Supercoppa Italiana teams in 2016. He was on loan to Imolese in Serie C and Mezzolara in the Italian fourth tier prior to his time with Legnano.
The club, which said he was “always available and positive” and could make himself “well-liked by everyone,” released a statement saying goodbye to Rinaldi.
“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.”
Players, including Napoli striker Lorenzo Insigne, gave their condolences to the family.
RIP Andrea 🙏🏻💔— Lorenzo Insigne (@Lor_Insigne) May 11, 2020
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