Here’s Leonid with an interesting article on the oldest professional footballer still kicking a ball
The Oldest Professional Footballer Still Kicking a Ball
What would you think of a man who plays professional football at the age of 51?
We are not talking about fiction here. Kazuyoshi Miura who is 51 years old is the oldest football player in the whole wide world. He is currently playing in the Yokohama FC if Japan and signed up for their next season. The he is one of the most veteran players who started his started his career in the 1980s.
Early Life of Kazuyoshi Miura
Though he was born in Japan, he didn’t play in his home ground until the 1990s. In his tender age of 15 Miura went to Brazil to follow his dream of a football career. He was heavily rewarded for his efforts and got a chance to play for the Brazilian mega team Santos where the legendary Pele played most of his career.
He played in Brazil for different teams until the early 90s. Then he came back to Japan and joined the Yokohama in 2005 in Japan. This was the time his career peaked and he broke the record of many players.
Awards and Achievements
Miura has been playing professionally for a long time which his contemporaries can never dream of- the next oldest player is only 34 year old and has a long way to travel!
When he came back to Japan, Miura won 4 consecutive league titles. He even beat the international giants Zico and Gary Lineker and went on to pick the Player of the Year of top scorer titles in 1993. That year also saw him get the honor of the Asian Footballer of the Year.
He has several records too- he is first to Japanese player play in Italy and also in other international games with teams such as Dinamo Zagreb and Sydney FC. He has played in 243 leagues for Yokohama since he joined them at the age of 38.
In 2016 he became the oldest professional football player in the draw of 1-1 against the V-Varen Nagasaki. Just a few days later he also made the record of being the oldest most goal scorer. Before him, both the records were held by a former international England football player called Stanley Matthews.
Despite his successful career, Miura never played in the World Cup. He has scored 55 international goals out of 89 caps and even made 14 goals for Japan against France in the qualifiers in 1998; but still he was omitted from the final team.
We are sure you have your own favourites when it comes to the world of football. After all, with talents like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who would want to idolize others? Yet, superstars as these do deserve a mention. It’s them who also contribute in keeping the spirit of football alive, and who continue to play defying age. For them, age is nothing but a number.
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