Former Japan international Masuto Kudo has tragically died at the age of 32.
The football ace, who played in the MLS and Australia’s A-League, was hospitalized earlier this month after being diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a build-up of fluids within the brain.
He died on Friday after complications from surgery.
Kudo had most recently been playing in the Japan’s third division with Tegevajaro Miyazaki.
He made four appearances for the Japanese national team in 2013, bagging two goals.
During his career he featured for MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps.
And during the 2020-21 season turned out for Brisbane Roar in Australia.
The Vancouver Whitecaps have been among the many to pay tribute, saying in a statement: “Vancouver Whitecaps FC are mourning the passing of Masato Kudo.
“Kudo was loved by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. He was kind, gracious, and his smile would light up the room.
“Whitecaps FC offer our condolences to Kudo’s family and friends at this difficult time.”
Brisbane Roar head coach Warren Moon said: “I like everyone else at Brisbane Roar I am deeply saddened by the news overnight that our former teammate, player and friend Masato Kudo has passed away.
“He had such a wonderful personality and always turned up to training every morning with a beaming smile on his face.
“He will be greatly missed, and our hearts go out to his wife and young daughter at this sad time.”
The club added: “Our thoughts are with Kudo’s family and friends as well as the Tegebajaro Miyazaki Football Club, its supporters and the wider community at this difficult time.”
The J. League said in a statement: “Along with the entire Japanese football community, we mourn the passing of Masato Kudo and wish to express our most heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”