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Shonan Midfielder Riuler Dies Aged 23

Sad, shocking news emerged out from J.League 1 side Shonan Bellmare on Tuesday night, as they announced the death of their Brazilian midfielder Riuler de Oliveira Faustino. Riuler passed away at the young age of 23 and while no cause of death was reported by Japanese media, Brazilian media who first broke out the news stated that the midfielder had succumbed to a heart attack.

Prior to playing with Shonan, Riuler was a product of the Coritiba youth academy, playing for their U-15 team until 2015, when he moved to another Brazilian club, Athletico Paranaense.

Riuler did not play for the Paranaense senior team, however, he did represent the club at youth levels as he played for their U-20 and U-23 teams. It was during his time at Paranaense that Riuler represented his country in the 2015 South American U-17 Championship, winning the tournament alongside future FC Midtjylland ace Evander, future PSV Eindhoven midfielder Mauro Junior, and future Barcelona B player Matheus Pereira.

After failing to break his way into the Paranaense senior squad, Riuler moved clubs once again in 2018, this time to Brazilian behemoths SC Internacional, before moving to Japan in 2019.

In Japan, Riuler played for J.FC Miyazaki – now known as Veroskronos Tsuno – in the Kyushu Soccer League, before being transferred to Shonan in 2020. Riuler spent his first season out on loan at Japan Football League side FC Osaka, before finding himself as a peripheral figure in Satoshi Yamaguchi’s squad this season. He made 11 appearances for Shonan in the 2021 season, two in the league, eight in the J.League Cup, and one in the Emperor’s Cup, and bagging himself one assist in the process.

Riuler’s last ever game for Shonan was a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Gamba Osaka at the Panasonic Stadium Suita in the Emperor’s Cup.

While Japanese news outlet Kyodo did not release a cause of death – pending an autopsy on Riuler’s body, Brazilian media and Riuler’s former clubs Coritiba and Paranaense have stated that Riuler died because of a heart attack, with both Coritiba and Paranaense announcing Riuler’s cause of death in their obituaries towards the player.

We at Football Tribe Asia would like to extend our condolences to Riuler’s friends and family who have been affected by his sudden departure. May he rest in peace.