Former Japan international Naoki Matsuda dies
Former Japan international soccer player Naoki Matsuda died
Thursday, two days after suffering a cardiac arrest during
The 34-year-old Matsuda had been in critical condition after
collapsing Tuesday during practice with his club, Matsumoto
”He passed away today at 1:06 p.m.,” Yamaga president Hiroshi
Otsuki said. ”Since Tuesday there has been an outpouring of
support from Matsuda fans all over Japan.”
Matsuda played 40 times for Japan, including at the 2002 World
Cup in Japan and South Korea. He also played 385 J-League games for
the Yokohama F Marinos from 1995-2010, helping the team to three
”It’s a huge shock,” former Japan captain Tsuneyasu Miyamoto
said. ”I will always remember playing along side him at the 2002
World Cup. He was a great teammate.”
Matsuda collapsed after a 15-minute training run on Tuesday.
After an initial diagnosis of heat stroke, he was later confirmed
to have had a cardiac arrest. He was unconscious when he arrived at
the hospital and showed no response to heart massage.
”I never got to know Matsuda directly but knew what a great
player he was having watched him in the J-League last year,” Japan
coach Alberto Zaccheroni said.
Matsuda joined third-tier club Matsumoto Yamaga this year after
spending his entire J-League career with Yokohama.
Matsuda’s death is the latest concern for soccer
In 2003, Cameroon international Marc-Vivien Foe collapsed and
died while playing at the Confederations Cup in France. A year
later, Hungary striker Miklos Feher died from a heart attack while
playing for Benfica in the Portuguese league, and Sevilla defender
Antonio Puerta died in 2007 after a heart attack during a Spanish