53-year-old Kazuyoshi Miura is not done with being a professional footballer just yet.
The former Japan international, who broke the great Stanley Matthews’ records for both the oldest goalscorer and player in a top national division, joined Yokohama FC in 2005 and has somehow managed to continue extending his contract year after year.
He managed just 67 minutes of action in the J1 League last season, 42 fewer than he managed last year, but that hasn’t scared Yokohama off. The club took to their official website to announce that Miura has been handed yet another one-year extension at Mitsuzawa Stadium.
“I have renewed my contract with Yokohama FC for the 2021 season,” Miura said. “Last season, due to the influence of the new coronavirus, the world was in a difficult situation, but thanks to various people, we are able to play football again.
“I was able to play when I was feeling alright. It was a season that I personally struggled in, but my aspirations and passion for football are only increasing. I will play more games this season and contribute to the victory of the team. I would like to work on it every day. That’s my goal.”
This new contract means the man known as King Kazu in Japan will play on beyond his 54th birthday. 54.
Just let that sink it. He will be 54 years old and still playing professional football in the top division of his country. Maybe he plays so few games because he has to spend so much time defending his Fountain of Youth.
Miura hasn’t reached double-figures in appearances since 2017, when he managed 12 outings for Yokahama in Japan’s second tier.
His last goal for the club came during that season as well. Miura netted his side’s winner in a 1-0 win over Thespakusatsu Gunma in March – a goal which made him the oldest player to score in Japanese professional football at the age of 50 years and 14 days.
That’s just one of the many records Miura has shattered during his career, and if he gets his wish to play on until he’s 60, there might be a few more to add to the history books.