Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ex-soccer star Matsuda dies

Matsuda Naoki, 34, a former soccer star with the men's national team died on August 4, 2011 two days after suffering a heart attack while training with the Matsumoto Yamaga club. 
"He passed away today at 1:06 p.m.," says Yamaga president Hiroshi Otsuk. "Since Tuesday there has been an outpouring of support from Matsuda fans all over Japan."
On Tuesday, August 2 2011, Matsuda collapsed and fell into a coma following a short 15-minute training run. While he was initially thought to have suffered heat stroke, it was later determined to have actually had a cardiac arrest. 
At the hospital, Matsuda he was unconscious and did not respond to heart massage and was kept on life-support until his passing. 
Matsuda, a tough Right Fullback player valued for his 183-cm height, played 40 times for Japan, including at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea when the team made the top 16 round. He also played 385 J-League games for the Yokohama Marinos from 1995-2010, helping the team to three league titles.
But his international career as a member of Japan's Blue Samurai (national team) ended in 2005 when he fell out with then national coach and Brazilian legend Zico.
"It's a huge shock," former national team captain Miyamoto Tsuneyasu notes. "I will always remember playing alongside him at the 2002 World Cup. He was a great teammate."  

Files compiled by Andrew Joseph

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