Atalanta midfielder Andrea Rinaldi has died at the age of 19 after suffering a brain aneurysm at his home at the weekend
The teenager was observing the national lockdown due to COVID-19 and was training at home when he became critically ill on Friday.
Rinaldi, who was on loan from Atalanta at Italian fourth division side Legnano, was taken to a hospital in Varese where he tragically died on Monday.
An Atalanta statement read: ‘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 confirmed the cause of death was an aneurysm and they paid an emotional tribute to Rinaldi, a person they described as a ‘golden boy’.
‘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.’
Rinaldi had emerged from Atalanta’s youth academy having joined the Bergamo-based club from the age of 13.
In 2016, he was part of the squad that won the Under-17 league title and Super Cup.
At the beginning of his career in senior football, Rinaldi, who was to turn 20 on June 23, spent last season on loan at Imolese in Serie C and Mezzolara in Serie D, before joining Legnano in 2019-20.
The midfielder made 23 appearances for the fourth division side this season, scoring once, and the club chairman Giovanni Munafo described Rinaldi as an ‘extraordinary boy’ who had a ‘warrior’ spirit.