Former Japanese international footballer Kudo dies after brain surgery, aged 32

Former Japan international striker Masato Kudo, who also played for Kashiwa Reysol, Vancouver Whitecaps and Brisbane Roar, has died aged 32 following brain surgery, his club Tegevajaro Miyazaki has announced.

Kudo was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the ventricles of the brain, and was hospitalized on Oct. 3 after falling ill a day earlier, Kyodo News Agency reported. He passed away on Friday October 21.

Kudo was an important player during Kashiwa Reysol’s run to the Asian Champions League semi-finals in 2013, scoring six times in 12 games during that campaign.

He played for the national team in four matches in 2013 and scored two goals.

“He had 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 record, but he remained humble.”

“He had a great attitude, caring about his team-mates, the club and the fans. We are devastated that such a great player has passed away so early.”

Kudo, who also represented Sanfrecce Hiroshima, scored 60 goals in the Japanese top division during his career.