Former Japan international forward Masato Kudo, who also played for Kashiwa Reysol, Vancouver Whitecaps and Brisbane Roar, died aged 32 following brain surgery, his club Tegevajaro Miyazaki has announced.
Kudo was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the ventricles in the brain and was hospitalised on Oct. 3 after falling ill a day earlier, the Kyodo news agency reported. He died on Friday.
Kudo was an important player during Kashiwa Reysol's run to the semi-finals of the Asian Champions League in 2013, scoring six times in 12 games in that campaign.
He played for the national team in four matches in 2013 and scored two goals.
"He made a significant impact in the first division," third division side Tegevajaro Miyazaki, who Kudo had joined from Roar this year, said in a statement. "He played for Japan and had a great track record but he stayed humble."
"He had a great attitude, caring about teammates, the club and supporters. We are devastated that such a great player has passed away so early."
Kudo, who also represented Sanfrecce Hiroshima, scored 60 goals in Japan's first division during his career.