The fireproof Japanese striker Kazuyoshi Miura, better known to his fans as ‘King Kazu’, renewed his contract with Yokohama FC for the 2021 season and will continue to play in the First Division of the Japanese J1 League at the age of 54.
This was announced by the club in a statement on the renewal, in which Miura pointed out that his “aspirations and passion for football only grow.”
‘King Kazu’ became the oldest player to step onto the pitch in the top flight of the Japanese League in September 2020 (53 years, 6 months and 28 days), when he was part of the starting eleven in defeat 3-2 against Kawasaki Fontale.
Miura played four games last season, when Yokohama FC returned to the First Division for the first time since 2007. The club finished 15th in the Japanese championship, which was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although he didn’t score any goals back then, Miura still aspires to beat Zico as the oldest scorer in J1. The Brazilian achieved this milestone with Kashima Antlers in 1994 at the age of 41 years, 3 months and 12 days.
Miura will turn 54 on February 26 and will face his thirty-sixth year of professional soccer career, which began when he emigrated to Brazil in the 1980s at the age of 15. In the South American country he was active in Santos, Palmeiras and Coritiba.
Upon returning to Japan, Miura became the top national scorer in the newly established J1 League with Verdy Kawasaki, a team where he scored 100 goals over eight seasons. ‘King Kazu’ was the first Japanese to play in Italy (he was at Genoa) and he also played one season at Sydney Australia and another at Dinamo Zagreb.
He was also the great star of the Japanese national team in the 1990s, although, at the age of 31, he was excluded at the last moment from the list of 22 players who were selected for the World Cup in France in 1998, the first that Japan played in his country. history.
Miura is so popular in Japan that it was the inspiration for the famous Super Champions cartoon series. The cartoonist Yoichi Takahashi inspired his characters in real soccer players, Miura being chosen for one of the great icons of his series, Oliver. Thus, both were born in Shizuoka, both became famous for leading their school to win state championships, both became world-class footballers in Brazil, both continued their careers in Europe and ended up becoming heroes of their national team. (GG) (Everardo Herrera.com)