Japanese professional football player Kazuyoshi Miura has signed a new 12-month contract with first division club Yokohama FC at the age of 52.
While most football players would have been enjoying more than a decade of retirement at the age of 52, Kazuyoshi Miura signed a new contract with Yokohama FC, making it his 35th season of professional football.
Miura, who is nicknamed “King Kazu” and will turn 53 in February, just played three times last season as the team earned promotion from Japan’s second tier to first division. However, he has no intention of retiring just yet.
He said: “I was able to renew my contract with Yokohama FC. I will make daily efforts to achieve the goal of staying in the division but won’t forget the feelings of gratitude and to enjoy football. I will do my best to be able to contribute to the team’s wins.”
Currently, Miura holds the Guinness World Record for the oldest professional player to score a competitive league goal. He also became the oldest player to appear in a professional match in March 2017, breaking Englishman Stanley Matthews’ old record.
The Japanese striker began his professional career at Brazilian club Santos in 1986 at the age of 19. This was after he moved to Brazil four years earlier to play youth football.
He then went on to play in Italy, Croatia and Australia. He appeared for the Japanese national team on 89 occasions between 1990 and 2000, scoring 55 goals, including the 14 he made in qualifying as he propelled his country to the 1998 World Cup Finals in France.
In 2015, Miura said: “I’m thankful to the club staff and supporters who always offer me support. “I’ll continue to give everything I have and strive.” That season, he scored three goals in 16 appearances, although he got sidelined due to an injury in his thigh.