World’s oldest footballer, who once beat Lineker for award, signs for new club

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Kazu Miura, the world's oldest professional footballer who once trumped Gary Lineker as the J-League's most valuable player, is to continue playing after signing for a new club.

Miura, better known as 'King Kazu', turns 55 next month but is showing no signs of hanging up his boots just yet after joining the wonderfully named Suzuka Point Getters.

The Point Getters didn't get as many points as they might have hoped last season, finishing 21 points adrift of Iwaki FC in Japan's fourth division.

But they'll now have the services of Miura after he joined them on a loan deal from Yokohama, where he has played since 2005.

King Kazu only managed a single minute of competitive action last term as Yokohama were relegated from Japan's top-flight.

That 60-second cameo against Urawa Reds in March, at the grand old age of 54 years and 12 days, was enough for him to make football history as the world's oldest active player.

Miura made his debut back in 1986 when Margaret Thatcher was still Prime Minister, Lionel Ritchie was at No.1 in the charts and Everton were the reigning Division One champions.

A lot has changed since then, but Miura continues to trundle on in his fifth decade as a professional.

Are you inspired by King Kazu? Let us know in the comments section.

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The original star of the J-League, a competition which he is the oldest ever scorer in, Miura also netted an impressive 55 goals in 89 games for Japan.

Incredibly, Miura was named the division’s most valuable player during its opening season, beating England icon Gary Lineker to the prize among others.

The forward started his career in Brazil with stints at Santos, Palmeiras, Matsubara, CRB, Coritiba and Santos before returning to his native Japan with Verdy Kawasaki.

He scored 117 goals in 192 appearances for Kawasaki and was named Asian Footballer of the Year in 1992.

Two spells in Europe with Genoa and Dinamo Zagreb didn't quite work out for Miura, and he returned to Japan again in 1999 with Kyoto Sanga.

Then followed a five-year stint with Vissel Kobe from 2001 to 2005, where he scored 29 goals in 127, before his move to Yokohama, where he has spent the last 16 seasons.

King Kazu's latest move will see him play his 37th season of professional football – and he has plans to continue on until he is 60.

Commenting on the news of his switch to Suzuka Point Getters, he said: "I am grateful for the opportunity to play here and will do my best to contribute to the club on the pitch."

  • Gary Lineker

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