The Yokohama F. Marinos legend has lost his battle for life after he was rushed into intensive care after collapsing in training earlier this week
Japan's 2002 World Cup star defender Naoki Matsuda passed away today after collapsing at club training on Tuesday morning following a cardiopulmonary arrest.
The Japan international and Yokohama F. Marinos legend was just 34 years old.
Matsuda had been in a critical condition after being rushed to the hospital on Tuesday having collapsed after finishing a warm-up run with club Matsumoto Yamaga. Doctors placed Matsuda on an artificial respirator and said he was in an "extremely critical" condition.
Matsumoto manager Yoshiyuki Kato had told a press conference that Matsuda's condition hadn't improved on Wednesday.
Matsuda passed away on Thursday at 13:06 local time.
Doctors believe he may have suffered a heart attack which may have been due to the rising temperatures in Japan.
Kyodo News reported there had been a recorded 43 deaths in two months through the end of July due to heat stroke in Japan.
The former Japan international spent 15 years at Yokohama, making 385 appearances and scoring 17 goals, before joining Matsumoto earlier this year.