Former Bonnyrigg Rose player Shaun Woodburn was taken to the ERI in a critical condition following a disturbance in Great Junction Street, Leith, at around 2am. .
Police confirmed at 10.45pm that a 30-year-old had died and the death is being treated as murder.
Two teenage males aged 16 and 18 have been arrested in connection with the incident and are expected to appear before Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday.
Detective Inspector Graham Grant said: “My thoughts are with the family and friends of the man who has sadly passed away.
“A murder inquiry is now being carried out and there will continue to be a police presence in Leith as we conduct our investigation and provide support to the local community following these tragic events.”
Bonnyrigg Rose club secretary Robert Dickson said everyone was in “complete shock”.
He said: “Words can’t describe it. He was a big gentle giant, a gentleman. He was a well-liked guy, who had a lot of respect in the changing room. People in the football club just can’t believe it.”
The central defender was a star player for Rose after joining them from Newtongrange in 2012. The following year he was voted the players’ player of the year. He had been taking a break from the club in recent months due to family reasons.
Police said that the Capital’s New Year celebrations had otherwise been peaceful with only two arrests despite an estimated 75,000 people from more than 80 countries converging on the city centre.