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World's oldest professional footballer, 56-year-old signs contract extension

56-year-old Kazuyoshi Miura extended his contract with Portuguese team, Oliveirense.

Worlds oldest professional footballer, 56-year-old signs contract extension

Retirement continues to evade 56-year-old Kazuyoshi Miura.


Abon Gooptu

Published: 12 July 2023 11:30 AM GMT

If you thought the longevity of football stalwarts such as 38-year-old Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri was impressive, wait till you come across Japan’s Kazuyoshi Miura.

Nicknamed ‘King Kazu’, the Japanese footballer recently extended his contract with Portuguese second-tier side UD Oliveirense at the ripe age of 56.

Miura remains the world’s oldest active professional footballer. On loan from the Japanese J1 League’s Yokohama FC, Miura enters his 38th season of professional football. The length of the new contract has not been specified but Miura is clearly not ready to hang up his boots just yet.

Such is the longevity of Kazu’s career, the Japanese phenom has played professional football in four different decades. His first professional contract was with the Brazilian side Santos, back in 1986.

Soon enough, Miura became a household name in Japanese football. In the 90s, he conquered the Japanese Soccer League, J1 League, Emperor’s Cup, J League Cup and Japan Soccer League Cup.

He was the recipient of the 1992 Asian Footballer of the Year Award, 1992 AFC Asian Cup Most Valuable Player, 1993 J League MVP Award and 1996 J League Top Scorer Award amidst other individual honours.

He also became the first East Asian player to grace Serie A, when he joined the Italian side Genoa in 1994.

King Kazu has been signed to Yokohama FC since 2005. During his time at the Japanese club, he has been sent on loan to Sydney FC, Suzuka Point Getters and now, Oliveirense since February, 2023.

In 786 professional league matches, Miura has found the back of the net 218 times.

A young King Kazu in action.

One of Japan’s greatest

With the spotlight on the longevity of his career, people often overlook the fact that between 1990-2000, Kazuyoshi Miura has played 89 matches for the Japanese national football time. Miura even won the 1992 AFC Asian Cup with Japan.

In fact, Miura was a pioneering factor in Japan making it to their first-ever World Cup finals in 1998. He scored 14 times for Japan during the 1998 World Cup qualifiers.

King Kazu finished his international career with the second-most career goals in Japanese national team history with 55 goals in 89 matches.

An illustrious career to say the least.

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