Monday, December 19

Miyamoto retires

Former Gamba, Red Bull Salzburg and Vissel Kobe defender Tsuneyasu Miyamoto has retired at the age of 34. The end of his 3-year contract with us has brought to an end an impressive career including 12 successful years over at the dark side, 3 injury plagued seasons with Salzburg in Austria and a somewhat disappointing, but lucrative, final 3 seasons in Kobe. But he will be most fondly remembered for his time with the Japan national team, having made 71 appearances (many as captain) and ranking 16 on the list of most capped Japanese players of all time. In particular, he figured prominently in the 2002 and 2006 World Cup teams that helped increase the popularity of soccer as a sport among Japanese.

Miyamoto played almost every game for us in his first season in 2009, but lost both the armband and his starting position the following year, making only 10 league appearances in the 2010 and 2011 seasons combined. The club had offered him a new contract with a much-reduced annual salary, and after considering this and several other offers, including 2 from Thailand, he has made the right decision to hang up his boots.

I have just gone back to read my posts upon his signing for us back in January 2009.
For a bit of nostalgia:
Vissel signs Miyamoto
Captain Miyamoto

My best memory of Miyamoto in a Vissel shirt was the overhead goal he scored against Kawasaki back in July 2009.
Bicycle kick (1:45)

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