Japan’s 52-year-old ‘King Kazu’ renews contract

TOKYO (AFP) – Former Japan striker Kazuyoshi Miura (pic below), who turns 53 next month, has renewed his contract with Yokohama FC to extend his record as the world’s oldest professional footballer.

The veteran player, nicknamed ‘King Kazu’ for his spirited onfield style, will kick off his 35th career season this year, the club announced.

Miura, who has played for Yokohama FC since 2005, has said he won’t hang up his boots until he turns 60.

He played for the club three times last season but did not find the net.

In a short statement, he said he was concentrating on enjoying his football and keeping the club in the top league. “I’ll do my best to contribute to the team winning,” he said.

In 2017, Miura surpassed football’s previous professional longevity record and became the oldest player to score a competitive goal in a professional match. Both records were previously held by English legend Stanley Matthews.