Italy's players wore black armbands during their FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final against Spain in Fortaleza on Thursday, in tribute to former player Stefano Borgonovo, who died earlier in the day.
The former AC Milan and Fiorentina forward died from a degenerative illness at the age of 49. He played for Italy three times.
"Goodbye Stefano Borgonovo, your strength was a life lesson for everyone. You'll always be with me. With us! Adieu," tweeted striker Mario Balotelli, who left Brazil on Monday to receive treatment on a thigh injury.
Spain edged Italy 7-6 on penalties to face Brazil in the FIFA Confederations Cup final against Brazil after 120 minutes of scoreless football couldn't determine a winner.