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By ESPN Staff

Former Japanese captain joins Vissel Kobe

Former Japan captain Tsuneyasu Miyamoto has left Austrian side Salzburg to join Vissel Kobe, the J. League club announced today.

The move marks a return to the J. League for the 31-year-old defender for the first time since 2006, when he played for Gamba Osaka.

Miyamoto moved to Salzburg in January 2007 and played in nine league matches before making 12 further appearances the following season. However, since he suffered a serious thigh injury a year ago he has not been given a playing opportunity.

Miyamoto has played for Japan 71 times including the World Cups in 2002 and 2006. He played for Gamba for 12 years since making his professional debut in 1995, making 295 appearances in the J. League and scoring seven times.

In other news, Jubilo Iwata and former Japan defender Makoto Tanaka has joined Division Two side Avispa Fukuoka.

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