Oldest active professional footballer secures move to Europe at 55 years of age
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The oldest professional footballer, Kazuyoshi Miura has secured a move to European football just a month shy of his 56th birthday.
Affectionately coined ‘King Kazu’, the Japanese star moves on loan to Portuguese second-division side Oliveirense from Japanese team Yokohama FC.
It will be the 55-year-old’s 38th season in professional football having started his career in 1986.
In a statement, he said: “I’m going to make an effort so that people will be able see me playing my kind of football, even in new surroundings.”
Miura started his career in Brazil for Santos as Japan had no professional football league at the time.
In Brazil, he played for six clubs over a span of four years.
However, upon the launch of the J-League, he returned to his home nation to become the face of the new competition.
He played for Verdy Kawaski and led them to back-to-back titles in 1993 and 1994.
He became the first Japanese player to play in the Serie A when he joined Geona in 1994 on loan.
The player even had a stint in the A-League when it first launched, joining Sydney FC in 2005.
His first cap for Japan came in 1990 when he was named as part of the squad for the Asian Games.
His final game for his nation came in 2000.
He finished his international career with 55 goals in 89 appearances.
In November 2022 he became the oldest active professional goal-scorer in history.
Kazuyoshi Miura signed for Yokohama FC in 2005 aged 38, to wind down his career.— The Irish Guy (@the_irishguy) February 2, 2023
18 years later, they've just loaned him out to a Portuguese team.
Plying his trade in the Japanese fourth-tier, the former international was substituted on in the 84th minute with his side 2-0 up away to Tiamo Hirakata.
And despite only being on the pitch for a matter of minutes, the veteran was called into action to convert from the spot.
After finding the back of the net, Miura wheeled away in celebration, even pulling off a cheeky dance move before being mobbed by his teammates.
The previous record for the oldest goal-scorer in the JFL was 42 years and 50 days set by ex-FC Ryukyu player Hideki Nagai back in 2013.
Miura has previously said that he plans to continue on playing until he is 60.
Featured Image Credit: Newscom / Alamy. Aflo Co. Ltd. / Alamy.
Topics: Japan, Football, Kazuyoshi Miura