Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011
Yokohama — Yokohama F. Marinos said Friday they have decided to retire No. 3 in honor of their former defender Naoki Matsuda, who passed away at age 34 on Aug. 4.
The 2002 World Cup and long-serving Marinos defender lost his fight for life two days after he collapsed from a suspected heart attack during training with Matsumoto Yamaga of the third-tier Japan Football League.
According to the J. League, Matsuda's No. 3 will be the first retired jersey in league history.
Marinos plan to announce their decision in front of fans when they host Jubilo Iwata at Nissan Stadium on Aug. 20. He spent all of his 16-year J. League career with the Yokohama club before joining the JFL side.