Kazuyoshi Miura

Kazuyoshi Miura (三浦 知良, Miura Kazuyoshi, born 26 February 1967), often known simply as Kazu (nicknamed "King Kazu"[2]), is a Japanese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Yokohama FC in the J1 League.[3] He played for the Japan national team from 1990 to 2000, and was the first Japanese recipient of the Asian Footballer of the Year award.[4][5][6] Miura, whose rise to fame in Japan coincided with the launch of the J.League in 1993, was arguably Japan's first superstar in football. He is also known for his trademark "Kazu Feint" and his famous "Kazu dance", when he scores great goals or produces great plays.

Kazuyoshi Miura
三浦 知良
Miura in 2012
Personal information
Date of birth (1967-02-26) 26 February 1967 (age 54)[1]
Place of birth Shizuoka, Japan
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 9+12 in)
Position(s) Forward
Club information
Current team
Yokohama FC
Number 11
Youth career
1982 Shizuoka Gakuen High School
1982–1986 Juventus-SP
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1986 Santos 2 (0)
1986 Palmeiras 25 (2)
1986 Matsubara 5 (1)
1987 CRB 4 (0)
1987–1988 XV de Jaú 25 (2)
1988–1989 Coritiba 21 (2)
1989-1990 Santos 11 (3)
1990–1998 Verdy Kawasaki 192 (100)
1994–1995Genoa (loan) 21 (1)
1999 Dinamo Zagreb 12 (0)
1999–2000 Kyoto Purple Sanga 41 (21)
2001–2005 Vissel Kobe 103 (24)
2005– Yokohama FC 279 (27)
2005Sydney FC (loan) 4 (2)
National team
1990–2000 Japan 89 (55)
2012 Japan Futsal 6 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 03:31, 19 December 2020 (UTC)

Miura holds the records for being the oldest goalscorer in worldwide professional leagues at the age of 50[7] and, as of 2021, is the oldest professional footballer in the world at 54.[8] He also holds the possibly unique distinction of having played professional football in five separate decades (1980s-2020s).[9] His elder brother Yasutoshi is also a former professional footballer.[10]

Club career

In 1982, Miura left the Shizuoka Gakuen High School after less than a year, and travelled alone to Brazil at the age of fifteen to become a professional footballer there.[4] He signed with Clube Atlético Juventus, a youth club in São Paulo, and in 1986, Miura signed his first professional contract with Santos. He played for several other Brazilian clubs including Palmeiras and Coritiba, until his return to Japan in 1990.[4]

His time in Brazil elevated him to star status and on his return to Japan, he joined the Japan Soccer League (JSL) side Yomiuri SC, which later spun off from its parent company Yomiuri Shinbun and became Verdy Kawasaki with the launch of the J1 League in 1993.[1][11] With Yomiuri/Kawasaki, Miura won four consecutive league titles playing alongside fellow Japanese national team regulars Ruy Ramos and Tsuyoshi Kitazawa. Yomiuri won the last two JSL titles in 1991 and 1992, and Verdy Kawasaki won the first two J1 League titles in 1993 and 1994. He was named the first J.League Most Valuable Player in 1993.[4]

Miura then became the first Japanese footballer to play in Italy, joining Genoa in the 1994–95 Serie A season.[4] In his Italian stint, he played 21 times and scored one goal, during the Genoa derby against Sampdoria.[12] On 15 January 1994, Miura assisted Antonio Manicone's match-winning goal against Padova.[13] He returned to Verdy Kawasaki for the 1995 season and played with them until the end of the 1998 season.[4] Miura made another attempt at playing in Europe with Croatia Zagreb in 1999. He returned to Japan, however, following a brief trial with Bournemouth, in the same year, and played with Kyoto Purple Sanga and Vissel Kobe, before eventually signing for Yokohama FC in 2005.

In 2007, Miura was selected for the 2007 J.League All-Star Soccer for J-East and played exceptionally well.[14]

In November 2015, Miura signed a new one-year contract with Yokohama FC at the age of 48.[15] In January 2017, Miura signed another new one-year contract with Yokohama, taking his professional career into his fifties.[16][17]

On 5 March 2017, Miura became the oldest ever player to feature in a professional match when he started in Yokohama's 1–1 draw against V-Varen Nagasaki. With 50 years and seven days, he surpassed the previous record held by Stanley Matthews from 1965 by two days.[18] Seven days later, he broke Matthews' record for oldest goalscorer in professional football when he struck the only goal of a 1–0 win over Thespakusatsu Gunma.[19][20]

In January 2018, he signed a new contract,[21] and renewed it again in January 2019,[22] January 2020,[23] and January 2021.[24]

On 5 August 2020, he started in a J.League Cup match against Sagan Tosu, becoming the oldest player to take to the pitch in Japan's league cup competition, at the age of 53 years, 5 months and 10 days. By doing so, he surpassed the previous record of 42 years, 10 months set in 2017 by Yukio Tsuchiya.[25]

On 23 September 2020, he started in the J1 League match against Kawasaki Frontale and in doing so became the oldest player to take to the pitch in a J1 League match and the oldest player ever in a football match in the highest national division worldwide. Miura played 57 minutes in this match.

National team career


In September 1990, Miura was named as part of the Japan squad for the 1990 Asian Games. At this competition, on September 26, he debuted against Bangladesh. After his debut, he played as a forward until 1997. In 1992, he played at the 1992 Asian Cup, which Japan went on to win. In 1993, in the 1994 World Cup qualification, he played thirteen games and scored thirteen goals. However, Japan failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup. He also played at the 1994 Asian Games, the 1995 King Fahd Cup and the 1996 Asian Cup.

In 1997, Miura scored fourteen times for Japan during qualification for the 1998 World Cup, leading the Samurai Blue to their first ever World Cup finals.[26] Despite this, Miura was controversially left out of the squad.

In February 2000, Miura played for Japan for the first time in two years. He played his last national team match later that year, and finished with the second-most career goals in Japanese national team history with 55 goals in 89 matches.[27]


In 2012, and at the age of 45, Miura made his debut for the Japan futsal team in a 3–3 draw against Brazil. He came off the bench and was involved in the build up for the second goal scored by Nobuya Osodo.[28] In his second appearance with the futsal team, he scored the third goal in a 3–1 win over Ukraine.[29] In the 2012 Futsal World Cup, Miura appeared in all four matches for Japan, but failed to score as the Japanese were knocked out by Ukraine in the round of 16.

Personal life

Since 1993, he has been married to former actress and model Risako Shitara.[30] They have two children, Ryota Miura (born 1997) and Miura Kota.[31]

Career statistics


As of 20 May 2021[32][33][34] [35]
Club Season League League Cup League Cup Other* Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Yomiuri 1990–91 Japan Soccer League 1831073266
1991–92 2165241309
Total 399621145615
Verdy Kawasaki 1992 J.League 211010211412
1993 36203310224225
1994 22160000202416
Total 5836541110638053
Genoa 1994–95 Serie A 2111010231
Verdy Kawasaki 1995 J.League 262320203023
1996 27235462113930
1997 144210010175
1998 2853200317
Total 9555127624111765
Dinamo Zagreb 1998–99 Prva HNL 120120
Kyoto Purple Sanga 1999 J1 League 1142100135
2000 301710723819
Total 41213172005124
Vissel Kobe 2001 J1 League 291120323413
2002 1730010183
2003 2443240316
2004 2140050264
2005 1220061183
Total 10324521930012729
Yokohama FC 2005 J2 League 16410174
Sydney FC (loan) 2005–06 A-League 422062
Yokohama FC 2006 J2 League 39600396
2007 J1 League 2432040303
2008 J2 League 30120321
2009 30100301
2010 10300103
2011 30010310
2012 14100141
2013 18200182
2014 200020
2015 16300163
2016 20200202
2017 12100121
2018 900090
2019 300030
2020 J1 League 40002060
2021 10003040
Total 2622360902027923
Career total 65017532145919268767221
*Includes other competitive competitions, including the J.League Championship, Japanese Super Cup, Xerox Champions Cup, Serie A Play-off, Konica Cup, Sanwa Bank Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.


[27] [36]

Japan Futsal

National team goals





Tokyo Verdy[37]

Croatia Zagreb[37]






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  2. "'King Kazu' rewrites record". The Japan Times. 19 June 2016. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  3. Strack-Zimmermann, Benjamin. "Yokohama FC". National Football Teams. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  4. "Boa Sorte Kazu! – Museum – Profile – Biodata". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
  5. "Asia's Footballer 1992". IFFHS. Archived from the original on 13 September 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
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  13. 週刊サッカーダイジェスト 1995.2.15 P.13
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  16. "2017シーズン契約更新のお知らせ". Yokohama FC. 11 January 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  17. "Kazuyoshi Miura: Yokohama striker signs contract to play into his 50s". BBC Sport. 11 January 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  18. "Japan striker breaks Stan Matthews' record but pleads: Don't compare us!". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 7 March 2017.[permanent dead link]
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  22. "King Kazu has that #FridayFeeling – he's just signed another professional contract, aged 51". FIFA.com Twitter. 11 January 2019.
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