King Kazu: Evergreen Striker Signs New Contract at 52

Photo from BBC Sport

Older than most forward lines combined, Japanese footballing great Kazu Miura has signed a new contract with Yokohama FC at the autumnal age of 52. Already the oldest professional player in the world, Miura will continue at the newly-promoted team in what will be only their second season ever in the J1 League.

Miura is a legend at Tokyo Verdy thanks to his 100+ goals, four league titles (two in the old JSL, two in the J-League) and three J-League Cups in the early 90s. In a team full of stars such as Kitazawa and Ruy Ramos, Kazu shore brightest in the embryonic Japanese top-flight. In recent years he’s not quite been so prolific, but we can forgive him that – his role at Yokohama is more talismanic than essential these days.

A colourised photo of a sprightly King Kazu in the Verdy shirt, approximately 120 years ago.

Miura took over the crown of the oldest pro from the great Stanley Matthews, who played (and scored) after reaching his half century in 1965.

Here’s to another 50 Kazu!

Things that happened in Kazuyoshi Miura’s birth year (1967)

  • The Doors released The Doors.
  • The Vietnam War was still in full swing.
  • Milton Keynes was founded.
  • Elvis married Priscilla.
  • Celtic won the European Cup (the first British club to do so).

By contrast, when Jadon Sancho was born, Bag It Up by Geri Halliwell was number one in the UK.

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