Japan football star Matsuda dies at 34
Former Japanese football defender Naoki Matsuda died of a suspected heart attack. He was 34.
News of his death was confirmed by members of his football club Matsumoto Yamaga on Thursday.
Matsuda, who played for Japan when they hosted the World Cup back in 2002, was rushed to the hospital on Tuesday after collapsing during a training session where he lapsed into a coma and was placed on life support. He did not regain consciousness after that.
At the height of his career, Matsuda represented his country in 40 different occasions. Between 1995 and 2010, he was part of the Yokohama Marinos as well as the Blue Samurai squads which won the Asian World Cup in 2000 and again in 2004.
Many fans of the football star have posted videos in social media networks like YouTube as a memorial for his passing. Those there were close to Matsuda remain shock at the news of his death.
“I can’t believe it,” Shunsuke Nakamura, a former teammate of Matsuda, told reporters. “He was dynamic in every aspect and he was a kind of a big brother [to]everyone in a positive sense.”
“Matsuda was a kind of loyal soldier,” French coach Philippe Troussier, who was responsible for coaching Japan and bringing them to as far as the second round of the 2002 World Cup. “He listened attentively to what I said. He was polite and a reliable key man in the team.”
As of this posting time, there is no news regarding Matsuda’s funeral arrangements or whether there will be a memorial service that will be held in his honor.
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