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'Rest in peace': Football world mourns loss of Florijana Ismaili after Lake Como death

'Rest in peace': Football world mourns loss of Florijana Ismaili after Lake Como death
Several figures within the global footballing community have paid tribute to 24-year-old Swiss women's international Florijana Ismaili whose body has ben retrieved from Lake Como days after going missing.

The 24-year-old, who compiled 33 international caps for Switzerland, was listed as missing last Saturday after jumping from a boat into Lake Como and failing to surface. According to the Italian rescue team, her body was found in the lake at a depth of 204 meters on Tuesday.

Ismaili was one of her country's most experienced players. She was the captain of BSC Young Boys and had taken part in the World Cup in 2015 after making her international debut the year prior. 

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Nils Nielsen, coach of the Swiss women's side, led the tributes to Ismaili saying, "I am deeply saddened and shaken. It's hard to accept that Flori is gone.

"She always had a smile on her face and inspired us with her happy nature. She was someone who faced every challenge and set the example. I can only imagine what it must be like for all those who knew Flori longer and closer than me. But my thoughts are with them in these difficult times."

Liverpool's Champions League winning forward and current Swiss men's international Xerdan Shaqiri also mourned the loss with a heartfelt tribute on Instagram.

"I am deeply shocked by the death of Florijana Ismaili," Shaqiri wrote via translation. "My family and I would like to express our condolences to the Ismaili family and her loved ones."

Ismaili was listed in the Swiss football league's Best XI four seasons in succession and it is likely that she will posthumously continue this trend when the vote for the 2018-19 season takes place.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino noted that Ismaili's passing occurred at a time when the focus of the football world is on the Women's World Cup. 

"It is an extremely sad moment for all the football community, particularly at a time when we gather at the Women’s World Cup," he said. "Both on mine and FIFA's behalf, I would like to express the most heartfelt condolences to Florijana's family and friends, to the Swiss federation and to BSC Young Boys."

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