Sport

Yokohama FC re-sign 50-year-old 'King Kazu' to new contract

Yokohama FC re-sign 50-year-old 'King Kazu' to new contract”

One of the longest careers in soccer has been extended after 50-year-old striker Kazuyoshi Miura renewed his contract with second-division J-League club Yokohama FC on Thursday.

Miura, who broke Stanley Matthews' record as the oldest professional to score a goal last year, retired from worldwide football 18 years ago with 89 caps, but is now set to play his 33rd season domestically.

Miura also became the oldest player to score a competitive goal in a professional match past year, another record held previously by Matthews.

Miura said he's glad to have signed a contract for a new season.

"I will always play my heart out and hope to continue to grow (as a player)", he told Kyodo news agency.

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Aged just 15, Miura left Japan to travel to Brazil to pursue his football dream in 1982.

It is remarkable to think that Miura, who was named the J-League's first ever "MVP" in 1993 while with Verdy Kawasaki, has overlapped careers with 1980s World Cup legends Gary Lineker and Zico, both of whom spent the twilight of their playing days in Japan. He picked up four consecutive league titles while also beating global greats Gary Lineker and Zico to both the top scorer and Player of the Year honors in 1993.

Nicknamed "King Kazu", the Japanese forward began his career with Brazilian side Santos in 1986.

He returned to Japan in 1999 and has been at Yokohama since 2005, racking up 243 league appearances since the age of 38.



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