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Tuesday, 20th December 2011
In Japan Sports News, Sports,

Former captain 'Batman' announces retirement from football

The former Japanese football captain Tsuneyasu Miyamoto has announced his retirement from the game, after a successful career in which he led Japan at both the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups.

Miyamoto told a press conference that he will begin a postgraduate FIFA Master programme in a bid to help raise the profile of soccer in Japan, before later taking coaching qualifications, AFP reported.

A defender who spent two seasons in Austria playing for Salzburg, the 34-year-old Miyamoto found his first team opportunities restricted at Japanese J-League side Kobe Vissel this season and has therefore decided to hang up his boots.

Speaking to the media yesterday (December 19th), he said he didn't believe he had a big role left to play on the pitch.

"I want to make a contribution to help raise the status of Japanese football," the news agency quoted him as saying.

Miyamoto was nicknamed 'Batman' by the world's media after he appeared wearing a protective black mask in the 2002 World Cup after breaking his nose.

Written by Mark Smith