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Kazu Miura, the eternal king of Japanese football

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It is very likely that when mentioning the name of Kazuyoshi Miura, most football fans do not know who he is. However, this man has one of the most surprising records in football and is also making a difference with respect to any potential contender (if there is one): Miura is the oldest football player to ever play a professional football game.

Kazu Miura, also known as King Kazu, is a 53-year-old Japanese striker who plays for Yokohama FC in his country and who has just renewed his contract for one more year with his current club, which means that he will be playing professionally, at least, until his 54th birthday in February. The record was broken in 2017 by beating a legend like Sir Stanley Matthews who played until he was 50 years old.

His professional career has been very atypical if we consider that Kazu Miura started in Brazil where he played with various clubs in the South American country, some as important as Santos FC or SE Palmeiras until he returned to Japan in 1990. Miura had a brief stint in Serie A in Italy being the first Japanese player in the history of the league when he signed for Genoa CFC and, although his time in Italy was short and without much success, he can boast that his only goal was in a derby against UC Sampdoria, Genoa’s eternal rival.

The rest of his career has been spent mainly in Japan, between the J1 League and the J2 League, with brief steps through Croatia and Australia. It is noteworthy that during his time in Croatia, with Dinamo Zagreb (at that time called Croatia Zagreb) Miura played minutes in the UEFA Champions League and in Australia with Sydney FC he played the 2005 FIFA Club World Cup.

Another record of Miura that will be very difficult to match, is that of having played in five different decades taking into account that he began his career in the 80s. And, if he scored a goal in the J1 League, he will be the oldest player to score in this competition, surpassing Zico who did it at 41 years old. In other words, a very particular player whose career implies that nothing is impossible.

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