‘King Kazu’ sets new football record after Japan appearance

The 53-year-old became the oldest player to appear in Japan’s top flight, eclipsing the previous record by eight years.

Miura has insisted he will not hang up his boots until he turns 60 [Kyodo via Reuters]

“King Kazu” has done it again.

Japanese football legend Kazuyoshi Miura, 53, set a new record on Wednesday when he became the oldest starter in the history of the country’s elite division.

Despite his achievement and 56-minute playtime, the Yokohama FC forward regretted not scoring a goal in his team’s 3-2 defeat to league leaders Kawasaki Frontale.

“I was able to receive the ball in the middle of the pitch but couldn’t work a lot around the penalty area, which made me feel that I left something to be desired,” Miura, who began his career in Brazil in 1986 because Japan did not have a professional league at the time, said after the game.

“I want to make use of today’s experience for the next competitions in the league.”

The match was Miura’s first in the Japanese top flight since 2007. Yokohama played in the second division for 12 years before winning promotion last season.

“Kazu is our pride,” J-League chairman Mitsuru Murai said.

“This great record that will go down in history will be a bright light … for all active players as well as children dreaming of being future players,” he added.

“We hope we’ll continue to play outstandingly,” the 61-year-old said.

Kazu has been setting age records for some time, and he became the oldest man to play in Japan’s league cup competition earlier this year.

In 2017, he became the oldest player to score in a professional match.

He has insisted he will not hang up his boots until he turns 60, and he continues to be an enormous draw for fans in Japan and abroad.

The previous record was held by Masashi Nakayama, who was 45 years old when he played for Consadole Sapporo in 2012.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies