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Japan’s oldest goalscorer signs contract to play past 54th birthday

Kazuyoshi Miura, Japan
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The oldest goalscorer in Japanese football history has signed up for a 36th season as a professional football player.

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53-year-old forward Kazuyoshi Miura has extended his contract with Yokohama FC for another campaign in the J-League.

Miura, who will celebrate his 54th birthday on February 26, made four appearances last season to help Yokohama to a 15th-place finish in the club’s return to the Japanese top-flight after a 12-year absence.

‘King Kazu’, who also made a further two outings in the J-League Cup and captained the squad on three occasions, has now agreed to extend his career for another season.

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“Last season, I was feeling the joy of playing football at a time when the world was facing a tough situation because of the new coronavirus,” Miura told the club’s website.

“Personally, it was not a satisfactory season, but my ambition and enthusiasm towards football are increasing.

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“I will work hard every day, aiming to contribute to the team’s victory this season by playing as many games as possible.”

The striker started his playing career in Brazil with Santos before returning to Japan in 1990. He then beat the likes of Gary Lineker and Zico to the J-League’s MVP award.

To nobody’s surprise, Miura is the oldest goalscorer in Japanese football history after finding the back of the net in a second division match in 2017 at 50 years and 14 days old.

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Miura also represented Japan at international with 89 caps and 55 goals before retiring in 2000. He even won the Asian Player of the Year in 1992.