After a remarkable football career that saw him wear the captain’s armband of the Japanese national team at the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups™, Tsuneyasu Miyamoto is set for a new challenge as a student of the FIFA Master.

The former defender joined a group of 30 students from 24 countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, China PR, Cyprus, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lesotho, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States) who gathered for the opening of the 13th edition of the FIFA Master held at De Montfort University Trinity Chapel, Leicester on Monday, 17 September.

“As a player, I saw and learned many things on the pitch,” commented Miyamoto. "Now I would like to see football from a different perspective. By studying the key and interrelated aspects of sport humanities, management and law in such an international environment, I will be able to apply some new tools in order to make a valuable contribution to further develop the position of Japanese football. There is no doubt that baseball has been the number one sport in my country for a long time. But fortunately the number of people who love football has recently been increasing."

“I’m sure the FIFA Master and its international network will be a source of new ideas and a great support for my future career. Football is strongly embedded in European culture, which makes the FIFA Master even more exciting.”

Miyamoto – nicknamed 'Batman' after wearing a black mask to cover his broken nose during the 2002 FIFA World Cup – earned 71 caps with the Samurai Blue and played for Gamba Osaka, Red Bull Salzburg and Vissel Kobe in a career that spanned 16 years from 1995 until 2011. He also represented his country at the FIFA U-20 World Cup 1997, the FIFA U-17 World Cup 1993, the FIFA Confederations Cups 2003 and 2005, and the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament 2000.

In addition to his football career, Miyamoto graduated with a BA in economics from Doshisha University in Japan. After announcing his retirement in December 2011, the former Japan captain had successful spells as a TV commentator during UEFA EURO 2012 and this year's Olympic Games.

Over the past 12 years, the FIFA Master has established itself as one of the world’s leading postgraduate programmes in the area of sport. A survey carried out last year by the prestigious SportBusiness International magazine ranked the FIFA Master as Europe’s best postgraduate sports course provider. "It is always great when former top athletes take a leading position in a sport organisation and we salute Tsuneyasu Miyamoto's efforts to get the necessary training for that," said CIES Director Denis Oswald.

Fully endorsed by FIFA and organised by the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES), the FIFA Master was created in 2000 with the aim of providing qualified students from all over the world with a comprehensive understanding of the social, economic and legal dimensions of sport. About 90 per cent of the more than 300 FIFA Master graduates are in permanent employment within the sports industry.

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