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Japan former international striker Masato Kudo dead at 32

Former Japan international Masato Kudo, a J-League champion who also had stints in Major League Soccer and Australia, has died aged 32 after a short illness.

The striker, who was now with Tegevajaro Miyazaki in Japan’s third tier, died on Friday having been in intensive care following brain surgery.

Kudo won the J-League with Kashiwa Reysol in 2011 and earned four caps for his country, scoring twice.

He also played for Vancouver Whitecaps in the MLS and Brisbane Roar in the A-League.

Tegevajaro called him “a very successful player” who had “no arrogance and a great attitude of cherishing his teammates, club and supporters”.

Brisbane coach Warren Moon said: “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.”

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