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World’s oldest active football player signs new contract with Japanese club

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Japan’s Kazuyoshi Miura is currently the world’s oldest active footballer at the age of 54.

Kazuyoshi Miura, who has decided to continue his professional football career into his 37th season, has signed a contract with Japanese fourth-tier outfit Suzuka Point Getters on loan from Yokohama FC.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to play here and will do my best to contribute to the club on the pitch," Miura said in a statement.

Known as "King Kazu," Miura made his senior debut for Brazilian club Santos in 1986. Since then, he has played for 15 clubs including Genoa, Dinamo Zagreb, Sydney FC and Vissel Kobe. 

Miura’s rise to fame coincided with the launch of Japan’s top-tier football competition J-League in 1993 and was arguably Japan's first superstar in football. He is also known for his trademark "Kazu Feint" and his famous "Kazu dance" when he scores great goals or produces great plays. He helped his former club Verdy Kawasaki to the first two J-League titles.

 

In March last year, the Shizuoka-born footballer created history as he became the oldest player to feature in the J-League at the age of 54 years and 12 days when he made a substitute appearance against Urawa Reds.

He also holds the record for being the oldest goalscorer in the J-League and the footballer with the world’s longest professional career.

Miura made his debut for Japan national football team against Bangladesh during the 1990 Asian Games.  The star forward was part of the Japanese side that won the 1992 Asian Games. He also featured at the 1994 Asian Games, the 1995 King Fahd Cup and the 1996 Asian Cup.

Having made his last appearance for Japan in 2000, Miura represented his country 89 times - finishing with the second-most career goals in Japanese national team history with 55 goals.

Interestingly, King Kazu has stated that he wants to play professional football till 60.

Featured photo: STR / JIJI PRESS / AFP



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