Soccer / J. League

Gamba Osaka hires Tsuneyasu Miyamoto after firing manger Levir Culpi

Kyodo

Gamba Osaka have dismissed manager Levir Culpi and replaced him with former Japan captain Tsuneyasu Miyamoto, the J. League first division side said Monday.

The 41-year-old Miyamoto, who was boss of the Gamba under-23 team, will take charge of Saturday’s match against Kashima Antlers. Gamba are currently 16th in the 18-team league table with four wins, three draws and 10 losses.

The 65-year-old Culpi took over at Gamba in December but failed to turn the team around after a 10th-place finish in last season’s J1 under Kenta Hasegawa.

A former defender, Miyamoto captained Japan at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups. He earned 71 caps for the national team but announced his retirement in 2011.

He made his professional debut with Gamba before playing with Austrian club Salzburg and J. League’s Vissel Kobe.