The World’s oldest goalscorer in Japanese football and oldest professional footballer in the World, Kazuyoshi Miura, has inked a new deal with his club that will keep him playing past his next birthday when he will be 54.
‘King Kazu’, as he is popularly called, who holds the record as the oldest goalscorer in Japanese professional football, has committed to his 17th season with the club and the 36th overall in his storied career.
Miura clocks 54 on February 26, the day before the J1 League campaign is due to begin.
Just last September, he became the oldest player in the top-flight’s history against Kawasaki Frontale at age 53 and 210 days – he went on to make three more appearances that season.
Miura currently holds the records for being the oldest footballer and oldest goalscorer in worldwide professional leagues at the age of 50 and, as of 2020, is the oldest active professional footballer in the world at 53.
Cited in a statement released via the club, Miura said his “hopes and passion for football are only increasing” despite making only seven league appearances in the past two years.
“Last season, I was feeling the joy of playing football at a time when the world was facing a tough situation because of the new coronavirus,” he said.
The last goal Miura scored came in March 2017, when he scored in a 1-0 win over ThespaKusatsu Gunma in Japan’s second tier at the age of 50 years and 14 days. It made him the oldest player to score in a professional league match in the whole of Japan.
Miura who began his career with Santos in 1986, became the face of the J-League after its spark in 1993, having been the first Japanese winner of the Asian Footballer of the Year award in 1992.
He has scored 55 goals in 89 international appearances for Japan and won the Asian Cup in 1992.
He has featured for Genoa, Dinamo Zagreb and Sydney FC.
He is one of only three men to score more than 50 goals for Japan, along with Kunishige Kamamoto and Shinji Okazaki.