'King Kazu' Miura, World's Oldest Footballer, Turns 52 Today

The phrase "age is just a number" is thrown around a lot but when it comes to Japanese player Kazuyoshi Miura, it really does ring true.

Now into his 34th season as a professional footballer, 'King Kazu' is celebrating his 52nd birthday today. Often footballers play into their late 30s and 40s but Miura, the oldest player to ever take part in a professional football game, is really in uncharted waters.

Starting his career all the way back in 1986 when Lionel Richie was number one in the charts, he scored 55 goals in 89 games for Japan and turned out for clubs such as Santos, Genoa, Dinamo Zagreb and Sydney FC.

He also played for Verdy Kawasaki from 1990 to 1998 and made 192 appearances for the club, in which he scored 100 times.

One of his other longest stints came when the Yokohama star played for Vissel Kobe from 2001 to 2005, making 103 appearances and scoring on 24 occasions.

Image: PA
Image: PA

The only player active from when the J League was formed in 1993, he has been with Yokohama FC since 2005 and signed a contract extension with the club in January.

"I updated the contract for the 2019 season," he said.

"Thanks to everyone who always supports. I am grateful to everyone.

"I will participate in many matches in one game, I will not waste it for one minute, one second. I think that I want to go face to face with football and go to daily training with maximum power."

Miura holds a whole host of impressive records - one of which is that he is the only player to have appeared in FIFA 96 and still be playing professionally.

Unfortunately, because his side are only in the second tier of Japanese football, you are not able to play with him on this year's FIFA.

But that's not say he want get one final FIFA appearance under his belt as we don't anticipate him retiring anytime soon.

Josh Lawless

Josh is a writer who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.

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