Naoki Matsuda, dead at 34

Japan's international defender dies following heart attack in training

Naoki Matsuda, dead at 34

Naoki Matsuda, March 14, 1977 - August 4, 2011

J-League football player Naoki Matsuda, who represented Japan 40 times at international level, has died following a heart attack earlier this week. The 34 year old defender went into cardiac arrest shortly after a 15-minute training session at his club's training ground on August 2, and has spent the last two days on life support.

Matsuda joined his last club, Matsumoto Yamaga, in 2010 after a 15-year association with Yokohama F Marinos, a club for which he played 385 times. The defender also played a role in the 2002 World Cup, staged in Japan and South Korea, where he was easily recognisable in his black headband.

It is thought that Matsuda, who was part of the back-to-back league winning Marinos side of 2003-4, collapsed due to heatstroke. Over 40 heat-related deaths have been reported in Japan since the beginning of July.

Matsuda leaves behind a wife and three children.

By Jon Wilks
Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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