Italy mourns footballer Piermario Morosini

Piermario Morosini Morosini lost both his parents before he was 18

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Italians have expressed shock and sadness at the death of Livorno footballer Piermario Morosini, who collapsed during a game on Saturday.

The grief was reflected in front-page headlines in most of Italy's Sunday newspapers.

Some focused on his tragic past. Morosini lost both his parents before he was 18, and shortly after that his disabled brother killed himself.

All Italian matches were cancelled and an autopsy will be held on Monday.

'Only tears'

Morosini, 25, had been on loan from Serie A side Udinese when he collapsed on the pitch in the 31st minute while playing in Livorno's Serie B game at Pescara.

He tried to get up a number of times before receiving heart massage on the pitch. A defibrillator was also used before an ambulance took him to Pescara's Santo Spirito hospital.

Doctors there tried unsuccessfully to revive him for 30 minutes.

Hospital consultant Leonardo Paloscia said: "Morosini never had a single heartbeat again. From when I arrived he never gave a sign of revival, not in his respiration nor his heartbeat."

Dr Paloscia said it was unlikely any cause could be determined until after the autopsy.

Fans in Toronto, Canada, hold a minute's silence before the MLS game against Chivas USA Fans in Toronto, Canada, hold a minute's silence before the MLS game against Chivas USA

Pescara goalkeeper Luca Anania said players did not immediately understand the seriousness of the incident.

"There was great confusion and I seemed to understand that there was also a bit of delay in help arriving. Some of my teammates helped carry the stretcher by hand to the ambulance."

Many players left the field in tears.

The Italian press on Sunday paid tribute to Morosini.

Turin-based Tuttosport's headline read, "We have lost a son", while La Repubblica's editorial was headlined, "Incredulous and helpless".

The Gazzetta dello Sport focused on the controversy over the medical assistance.

An inquiry has been launched into why a traffic police car had to be broken into and removed as it was blocking the ambulance's entrance.

The Corriere dello Sport focused on the tragic elements of Morosini's life, which left him alone with his disabled elder sister. "A life marked by pain," was its headline.

Morosini was an Italy under-21 international and played for a number of clubs, including Atalanta, Reggina, Padova, Bologna and Vicenza.

"He was golden, always trying to help his family," Atalanta youth team director Mino Favini told Associated Press.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter tweeted: "Only tears. There are no words to express what I tried to when I found out about Piermario Morosini's death."

The tragedy follows a similar incident involving Bolton's Fabrice Muamba last month.

He was technically "dead" for 78 minutes after collapsing in an FA Cup tie against Tottenham but is now making "strong and steady improvements".

Following Muamba's collapse, attention had been drawn to the situation for athletes in Italy, which has mandatory cardiac screening for all young people engaged in organised sport.

The charity Cardiac Risk in the Young says that the Italian measures have reduced the incidence of young sudden cardiac death in Italy by 90% in the 30 years since the screening was introduced.

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