Miura extends contract to play at 54

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Japanese footballer Kazuyoshi Miura is set to play on at the age of 54 after extending his contract with Yokohama for another season.

Miura, dubbed “King Kazu” in Japan, turns 54 on 26 February, a day before the 2021 J-League campaign begins.

This will be his 17th season with the club he joined in 2005.

The former Japan striker last scored against Thespakusatsu Gunma in 2017 in Japan’s second division, becoming the oldest player to score in a Japanese professional league game at 50 years and 14 days.

The 2021 season will be Miura’s 36th as a professional since starting his career with Santos in Brazil in 1986.

The striker is one of the most revered sportsmen in Japan and was at the forefront of the country’s football boom in the early 1990s when he was the poster boy of the newly launched league in 1993.

The Guinness World Record for the oldest professional footballer is held by Israeli Isaak Hayik, who played in goal last April for Israel’s Ironi Or Yehuda, aged 73.

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By Ofhani Munyai

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