Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has today expressed it deepest sympathy to the friends, family and ex-teammates of Bernardo Riberio following the tragic passing of the former Newcastle Jets player.

Ribeiro died of a suspected heart attack while playing for Brazilian side Friburguense.

The 26-year-old fell ill during a friendly match and was transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital where it was later confirmed he had passed away.

PFA Chairman Craig Foster said the thoughts and prayers of all PFA members were with the family of friends of Bernardo.

“This is truly a tragic event and we offer our deepest condolences to all who knew Bernardo,” said Foster.

“Bernardo was a hugely popular figure amongst his former teammates at the Newcastle Jets and his passing has no doubt hit the players hard.

“The PFA will ensure that all possible support is made available to Bernardo’s family, friends and ex-teammates during this extremely difficult time.”