51-year-old Japanese striker gets new deal - Kazuyoshi Miura signs up

Kazuyoshi Miura
Kazuyoshi Miura failed to score in 2018 but here's hoping for a return to form in 2019

He may have started his career way back in 1986 but there's no sign of Kazuyoshi Miura slowing down yet - the 51-year-old has signed a new contract with Japanese side Yokohama FC.

The striker, who won the last of his 89 Japan caps some 19 years ago, will now play in the Japanese second division until at least the age of 52 - an age he reaches next month.

"I will not waste it for one minute, one second," he said.

"I think that I want to go face to face with football and go to daily training with maximum power."

Miura was born in the same month as Italy legend Roberto Baggio, who retired in 2004, and broke Stanley Matthews' record as the oldest professional to score a goal in 2017.

He failed to score in nine appearances in the 2018 season, which saw Yokohama lose in the play-offs.

Kazuyoshi Miura
Kazuyoshi Miura in his peak in 1994 - he scored 100 league goals for Verdy Kawasaki

Miura's milestones

  • In 1982, aged just 15, Miura left Japan to travel to Brazil to pursue his football dream. He was eventually signed by Santos, for whom he made his professional debut in 1986 at the age of 19.
  • Miura left Santos for Palmeiras later that same year. One of his team-mates at Palmeiras was Mirandinha, who in 1987 became the first Brazilian to play in English football after joining Newcastle United for £575,000.
  • Miura was top scorer and MVP of the inaugural Japanese J.League season in 1993, seeing off star imports such as Gary Lineker and Zico to both accolades.
  • His J.League exploits saw him become the first Japanese recipient of the Asian Player of the Year award in 1993.
  • He made his Japan debut in 1990 and fired the country to their first ever World Cup appearance in 1998 by scoring 14 goals in qualifying. However, he was controversially omitted from the final squad for France and retired from international football two years later, having scored 55 goals in 89 appearances.
  • He has played in Europe for Genoa and Dinamo Zagreb, winning the Croatian league title with the latter in 1999.
  • Joined current club Yokohama FC as a 38-year-old in 2005. Has since made over 250 league appearances for the club.

Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.

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