One of Japan's top male soccer players died Thursday, two days after suffering heat stroke following a practice.
Defender Naoki Matsuda, 34, who played in 40 matches for Japan's national team, including the 2002 World Cup tournament, suffered cardiopulmonary arrest after practice Tuesday, The Japan Times reported.
He died shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday, Kyodo News Service reported.
"On behalf of FIFA and the worldwide family of football, I wish to extend our condolences to you, to the Japanese football community and, most importantly, to Naoki Matsuda's friends and loved ones. Please let them know that today the football community stands by their side," Joseph S. Blatter, president of the international soccer's governing body, said in a statement.
Matsuda played 385 Japan Football League games for Yokohama F. Marinos from 1995 to 2010, according to The Japan Times.
Hiromi Hara, Japan Football Association technical director, fought back tears after being informed of Matsuda's death during an unrelated press conference Thursday, Kyodo reported.
The death comes less than three weeks after the Japanese women's national team captured the Women's World Cup in an emotional victory over the favored U.S. team.
warning... better stay inside... or the sun is going to get you!!!
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Bless his soul
Well, this just sucks!
No disrespect intended but is J-pan havin severe weather too ??or did he just over exert his poor body? either way, Im sorry .
A few years ago I suffered heat exhaustion & it was really scary. After that heat stroke is not far away. I was just walking & it was extremely hot, but if you're excerting yourself, as in excercise or sports, heat doesnt have to be extreme & you can easily bypass the exhaustion stage before you have fullblown stroke & are in trouble. Athletes are especially suceptible because they are used to pushing beyond the discomfort zone & often practice in harsh weather. This is such a sad loss, especially if it might have been prevented. I hope American coaches take notice & remember this when they send our kids out to practice! My condolences to J.a.pan, this well loved athletes family, friends, & fans!
The world lost a hero.RIP .Condolence from Amsterdam Holland to the family ,friends and the people of Nipon.
Very sad indeed.
Seems like strickter rule need to be enforced regarding medical checkups for football players.