Salihorsk, Belarus (Sports Network) - Brazilian striker Nilton Mendes died of a heart attack suffered while on the pitch yesterday during his club's training session.
The 30-year-old played for FC Shakhtyor Karagandy in Belarus and busted onto the Kazakhstan scene in 1999. In that same year, Mendes wasted no time in showcasing his efforts and earned Player of the Year honors with Irtysh.
The following year, he played for fellow Superleague team Astana and was the top scorer in the league with 21 goals to take home Player of the Year honors again.
Mendes collected 79 goals in 200 games with the three Superleague squads he suited up for (Irtysh, Astana, Shakhtyor).
The Shakhtyor star netted his first European competition goal this season in his team's first-round draw in the UEFA Intertoto Cup.
Mendes tallied his final goal on August 4th, against his previous squad Astana.
Before his team's contest on Wednesday, Mendes will be honored with a moment of silence.