Kazuyoshi Miura, the world’s oldest professional football player, is set to keep playing at age 54 after extending the contract with his Japanese team Yokohama FC for another season.
“King Kazu”, as he’s called by the fans, is set to play his 36th season as a professional footballer after starting his career with Santos in Brazil in 1986.
The season starts the day after his 54th birthday on February 26.
“My aspirations and my passion for football are only getting bigger,” he said in a statement.
53-year-old striker Kazuyoshi Miura has signed a new contract with Yokohama FC.
He was already a professional footballer when Messi was born 🤯
This will be his 36th season 👏 pic.twitter.com/XOxst6QZTQ
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 11, 2021
Last season Miura made four appearances in the J-League, to which his club secured promotion at the end of 2019 for the first time since 2007.
The striker is one of the most revered sportsmen in Japan and was at the forefront of the country’s football boom in the early 1990s when he was the poster boy of the newly launched league in 1993.
He led Verdy Kawasaki to the title in 1993 and 1994 before moving to Italy, where he spent a season in Serie A with Genoa.
He also made four appearances for Sydney FC during the inaugural A-League season in 2005-06 and has played in Croatia as well as at other at other Japanese sides.
Kazuyoshi Miura will be playing for another year with Yokohama FC at the age of 5️⃣ 4️⃣ pic.twitter.com/wmeZodrmuO
— AFC (@theafcdotcom) January 11, 2021
Miura won the Asian Cup with Japan in 1992 but missed out on representing his country on their debut appearance at the World Cup finals in France six years later.
He scored 55 goals in 89 games for Japan.