Kazuyoshi ‘King Kazu’ Miura breaks more records as the 55-year-old signs for Portuguese club Oliveirense

The legend of “King Kazu” took another turn when Kazuyoshi Miura joined Portuguese second division club Oliveirense on loan from J-League club Yokohama FC, just a month shy of his 56th birthday.

The former Japan international will enter his 38th season as a professional footballer in his sixth country, having already played in Brazil, Japan, Italy, Croatia and Australia.

“I’m going to make an effort so that people can see me play my kind of football, even in a new environment,” Miura said in a statement.

It’s another chapter in an extraordinary career that began professionally in 1986, a year before soccer great Lionel Messi was born.

Miura began his career with Brazilian club Santos as there was no professional league in Japan at the time. He spent four years in Brazil, playing for six clubs, including Santos and Palmeiras.

However, “King Kazoo” would return to his home country to become the face of the J-League upon its debut in 1993, leading Vardy Kawasaki to back-to-back titles in 1993 and 1994.

He spent a loan spell with Serie A side Genoa in 1994, becoming the first Japanese player to play in the Italian first division.

He scored 55 goals in 89 caps for the Japan national team, making him the second highest scorer for the Samurai Blue. He retired from the national team in 2000 but continued to play professionally for two more decades, and it looks like he won’t be slowing down anytime soon.

After signing for Yokohama FC in 2005, he has been with the club – or on loan – ever since, making this his 19th season with the team.

Miura spent 2022 at Suzuka Point Gators – a club managed by his brother – in the fourth tier of Japanese football. In his time there, he netted twice in 18 games.

In 2017, he became the oldest player to score in a professional match when he scored against Thespakusatsu Gunma in Japan’s second division at the age of 50 years and 14 days. He also helped Yokohama secure promotion to Japan’s top division at the end of the 2019 season.

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