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14.12.2009 13:57

Leo Miyagata: from tears to smiles


The little Japanese boy who touched the hearts of Barça fans everywhere in 2006 is smiling again and enjoying his team’s successes. Leo Miyagata lives and breaths Barça and is looking forward to supporting the team in the World Club Cup.

The then 6-year-old Leo Miyagata cried his heart out when FC Barcelona lost the World Club Cup in Yokohama in 2006 and unwittingly became an icon for Barça fans everywhere. And on the eve of the 2009 World Club Cup, Barça TV has sought out perhaps the most famous Japanese Barça fan of them all. Over the past three years, Leo has gone from tears to smiles. Despite watching the match from thousands of miles away, he’s looking forward to seeing Barça win the only trophy the Club lacks.

Three years later

LeoMiyagata1.jpgThree years have passed since the pictures of Leo’s tearful face flashed around the world. Leo, now 9 years old, is smiling again but he remembers that moment well: “I cried with rage because they had lost. But the fact is I never imagined it would make me so famous”.

Despair to joy

Leo Miyagata learned an important lesson: you can’t always win. However, you can win it all and that’s what Barça has done over the last year. An historic year that little Miyagata has followed with passion at a distance of 10,500 km: “I was very happy when we won the treble. I got so excited that some days I couldn’t even sleep”.

Barça, kimonos and sushi

japonesito_xFOTO_JORDI_COTRINAx.jpgHowever, Leo Miyagata’s tears were not the result of a temporary fit of rage. In his bedroom it’s difficult to find a spare patch of wall that isn’t covered with Barça mementoes. He lives surrounded by posters of the players, shirts, pins and other Barça souvenirs; small treasures that he shows with pride to anyone who visits his Barça world. Among his favourites is the Barça shirt that has virtually become his uniform: “I put it on when I go out for a walk or to school and also when I go and train”.

Japanese, footballer and Barça fan

Leo-Miyagata-7.jpgIt’s free to dream and sometimes dreams are the beginning of great realities. On this basis, Leo is setting no limits on his dreams: “I’d like to be a Barça player and for Barça fans to think I’m a good player and to win the golden Ball”. Despite his youth, Miyagata is already trying to make his dreams come true; he plays football for a club in Yokohama and learns his technique by studying his idols: Leo Messi, Bojan Krkic and Pep Guardiola, of whom he highlights his character and expressiveness: “One of the things I like most about him is that he makes a lot of gestures and when he doesn’t like something he gets angry”.

Barça 24 hours a day

The passion that Leo Miyagata feels for FC Barcelona goes much further than mere sentiment and the team’s results have a big impact on his daily life: “When Barça win I’m very happy and I have a lot of energy. The victories help me make an effort to study and to play”. Despite the big time difference, Leo never misses a match – sometimes live, sometimes recorded and sometimes via the Club channel: “I watch Barça TV every week”.
Leo Miyagata: from tears to smiles

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Leo Miyagata on Barça TV
Leo Miyagata’s tears dried a long time ago. Now, with a big smile on his face, he’s looking forward to watching Carles Puyol lift the World Club Cup. On Wednesday 15th December at 9 pm Barça is showing a documentary on Barça’s number one Japanese fan in which he talks about his past present and future.

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