Latest News

Thursday, 4th August 2011
In Japan Sports News, Sports,

Japanese football community shocked by death of former international

Naoki Matsuda, the footballer who used to play for Yokohama F Marinos and the Japanese national football team, has died in hospital after collapsing on the training ground on Tuesday (August 2nd).

The defender collapsed while in training for his latest club, third-division Matsumoto Yamaga, after suffering a cardiopulmonary arrest, or heart attack. He was 34 years old.

Matsuda played for the Soccer Nippon Daihyo in the 2002 FIFA World Cup - which was hosted by Japan alongside South Korea - and appeared for the Yokohama-based team over 400 times.

Philippe Troussier, who was Japan's head coach at the 2002 World Cup, lead the tributes, telling Fuji TV: "Matsuda was a kind of loyal soldier. He listened attentively to what I said. He was polite and always a reliable key man in the team."

Football website reported that doctors fear the death is due in part to the rising temperatures in Japan.

Written by Mark Smith