The oldest current professional footballer in the world, Kazuyoshi Miura, has joined with a new team 37 years after making his debut for Santos of Brazil.
Just weeks before turning 56, Japanese legend Kazuyoshi Miura has joined Portuguese team Oliveirense on loan from home club Yokohama.
Miura, 55, began his professional playing career with Santos in Brazil in 1986, and is already in his fifth decade of play. He has had trouble getting playing time at Yokohama this year, but he doesn’t intend to stop playing and will likely spend time in Portugal’s second division.
Miura has pledged to Oliveirense supporters that he will “work hard” to support their team as they pursue promotion. Miura wants to play until he is 60. The seasoned player has already displayed his skills in Brazil, Croatia, Australia, and, of course, Japan. This is his first stint in Portugal.
On February 26, one day after Oliveirense’s league match versus Moreirense, Miura will celebrate his 56th birthday. The seasoned campaigner declared, “Even if this is a new venue for me, I’ll work hard to demonstrate to everyone the kind of play I’m renowned for.
The financing transaction was made feasible by Yokohama’s ownership of a majority share in Oliveirense. Last year, Miura played on loan for the fourth-tier Suzuka Point Getters of Japan, a team led by his elder brother Yasutoshi.
Miura is having trouble playing frequently for Yokohama, who were promoted back to the J1 League in 2019 after spending more than a decade in the second division of Japanese football.
The storied star also had a lengthy and fruitful career at the international level. In 89 senior matches for Japan between 1990 and 2000, he scored 55 goals, with only Kunishige Kamamoto scoring more (80 goals). With Japan, Miura won the Asian Cup in 1992.
Numerous records have been broken by Miura. He has the longest professional career of any football player in history and is the oldest goal scorer in the history of the Japanese game. Given that his career has lasted over five decades, he is also the oldest active professional football player.
In February 2021, Miura said to FIFA, “I think I will [always] be active in football in some capacity. “I have no idea how long I’ll be performing.