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The 53-year-old Yokohama forward Kazuyoshi Miura (white shirt) beats Kawasaki Frontale forward Leandro Damiao during their J-League football match

Football

Japan’s ‘King Kazu’ breaks J-League records again, becomes oldest player to play at 53 years

TOKYO, Japan, Sep 23Kazuyoshi Miura, the 53-year-old Japanese footballer known as “King Kazu”, proved Wednesday he was worthy of his crown after setting another record in a J-League first-division match.

Miura was in the starting line-up for Yokohama FC’s clash against Kawasaki Frontale, and at 53 years, six months and 28 days old easily smashed the record for oldest-ever J-League first division starter set by Masashi Nakayama in 2012.

Nakayama was a comparative spring chicken when he set the record aged just 45.

Kazu has already set records this year, becoming the oldest player in Japan’s league cup competition.

He was named in a J-1 squad earlier this month, but stayed on the bench.

Wednesday’s appearance was Kazu’s first in a J-1 match since 2007 and garnered plenty of attention

“Impressive! Kazu is my hero,” one of his fans tweeted.

“King Kazu”, aged 53, is tackled by Kawasaki Frontale’s Brazilian defender Jesiel Cardoso Miranda © JIJI PRESS/AFP / STR

“Thanks to him, I became a football fan. He’s forever young.”

Miura, who has been with Yokohama FC since 2005, was subbed after 56 minutes in a match which saw his side lose 3-2.

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In 2017 he became the oldest player to score a goal in a professional match, and insists he won’t hang up his boots until he turns 60.

Miura made his Japan debut in 1990 and was a close call for the country’s first-ever World Cup appearance in 1998, but failed to make the final squad for France despite scoring 55 goals in 89 games for the national side.

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