Former Japan goalkeeper Sanada dies suddenly


Masanori Sanada

TOKYO (majirox news) — Former Japan national team goalkeeper Masanori Sanada died suddenly on Sept. 6, J. League team Shimizu S-Pulse said. He was 43.

Shimizu officials said they have not heard the details of Sanada’s death and are still waiting to hear from authorities about the cause of his death.

The death of the S-Pulse goalkeeping coach is the second tragedy to jolt Japanese soccer circles in a month, following the sudden fatal heart attack suffered by former national team defender Naoki Matsuda, who died aged 34.

Sanada was S-Pulse’s first-choice goalkeeper for much of the period from the J. League’s inaugural season in 1993 through to his retirement in 2004. He was picked to play for Japan, but not in an international A Match.

He went into coaching after his playing days were over and was appointed S-Pulse’s goalkeeping coach this season. Sanada traveled with S-Pulse for a J. League game on Aug. 27, but on Sept. 2 took a medical leave of absence after reporting ill.

At the team’s clubhouse, president Yasuhito Takeuchi told reporters, “We were contacted by the family tonight and we’re trying to verify the details. All of us pray for Masanori’s happiness in the next world.”

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