The legend of “King Kazu” took another turn as 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 soccer player in his sixth country, having already played in Brazil, Japan, Italy, Croatia and Australia.
“I’m going to make an effort so that people will be able see me playing my kind of football, even in new surroundings,” Miura said in a statement.
It is another chapter in an extraordinary career that started professionally in 1986, a year before football great Lionel Messi was born.
Miura started his career at Brazilian club Santos because Japan had no professional league at the time. He spent four years in Brazil, playing for six clubs including Santos and Palmeiras.
However, “King Kazu” would return to his home country to become the face of the J-League when it launched in 1993, going on to lead Verdy 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 across 89 caps for the Japan national team, making him the second-highest all-time scorer for the Samurai Blue. He retired in 2000 from the national side but has continued to play professionally for another two decades, and it seems he is not slowing down anytime soon.
After signing for Yokohama FC in 2005, he has stayed with the club – or been on loan from it – ever since, making this his 19th season with the team.
Miura spent 2022 at Suzuka Point Getters – a club managed by his brother – in the fourth tier of Japanese soccer. 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 50 years and 14 days. He also helped Yokohama secure promotion to Japan’s top division at the end of the 2019 season.