Kazuyoshi Miura (三浦 知良, Miura Kazuyoshi, born 26 February 1967), often known simply as Kazu (nicknamed "King Kazu"), is a Japanese professional footballer who plays as a forward for Yokohama FC in the J1 League. 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. 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.
Miura in 2012
|Date of birth||26 February 1967|
|Place of birth||Shizuoka, Japan|
|Height||1.77 m (5 ft 9+1⁄2 in)|
|1982||Shizuoka Gakuen High School|
|1987–1988||XV de Jaú||25||(2)|
|1994–1995||→ Genoa (loan)||21||(1)|
|1999–2000||Kyoto Purple Sanga||41||(21)|
|2005||→ Sydney FC (loan)||4||(2)|
|* 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 and, as of 2021, is the oldest professional footballer in the world at 54. He also holds the possibly unique distinction of having played professional football in five separate decades (1980s-2020s). His elder brother Yasutoshi is also a former professional footballer.
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. 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.
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. 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.
Miura then became the first Japanese footballer to play in Italy, joining Genoa in the 1994–95 Serie A season. In his Italian stint, he played 21 times and scored one goal, during the Genoa derby against Sampdoria. On 15 January 1994, Miura assisted Antonio Manicone's match-winning goal against Padova. He returned to Verdy Kawasaki for the 1995 season and played with them until the end of the 1998 season. 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.
In November 2015, Miura signed a new one-year contract with Yokohama FC at the age of 48. In January 2017, Miura signed another new one-year contract with Yokohama, taking his professional career into his fifties.
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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. In his second appearance with the futsal team, he scored the third goal in a 3–1 win over Ukraine. 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.
|Yomiuri||1990–91||Japan Soccer League||18||3||1||0||7||3||26||6|
|Dinamo Zagreb||1998–99||Prva HNL||12||0||—||—||—||12||0|
|Kyoto Purple Sanga||1999||J1 League||11||4||2||1||0||0||—||13||5|
|Vissel Kobe||2001||J1 League||29||11||2||0||3||2||—||34||13|
|Yokohama FC||2005||J2 League||16||4||1||0||—||—||17||4|
|Sydney FC (loan)||2005–06||A-League||4||2||—||—||2||0||6||2|
|Yokohama FC||2006||J2 League||39||6||0||0||—||—||39||6|
National team goals
|Miura – goals for Japan|
|1||26 August 1992||Beijing, China||North Korea||4–1||4-1||1992 Dynasty Cup|
|2||3 November 1992||Hiroshima, Japan||Iran||1–0||1-0||1992 AFC Asian Cup group stage|
|3||14 March 1993||Tokyo, Japan||United States||1–1||3-1||Friendly|
|5||8 April 1993||Kobe, Japan||Thailand||1–0||1-0||1994 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|6||11 April 1993||Tokyo, Japan||Bangladesh||1–0||8-0|
|10||15 April 1993||Tokyo, Japan||Sri Lanka||3–0||5-0|
|12||30 April 1993||Dubai, UAE||Bangladesh||2–1||4-1|
|13||5 May 1993||Dubai, UAE||Sri Lanka||5–0||6-0|
|14||4 October 1993||Tokyo, Japan||Ivory Coast||1–0||1-0||Afro-Asian Cup of Nations|
|15||21 October 1993||Doha, Qatar||North Korea||1–0||3-0||1994 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|17||25 October 1993||Doha, Qatar||South Korea||1–0||1-0|
|18||28 October 1993||Doha, Qatar||Iraq||1-0||2–2|
|19||8 July 1994||Nagoya, Japan||Ghana||1–1||3–2||Friendly|
|21||14 July 1994||Kobe, Japan||Ghana||2–0||2–1||Friendly|
|22||3 October 1994||Hiroshima, Japan||United Arab Emirates||1–1||1–1||1994 Asian Games group stage|
|23||11 October 1994||Hiroshima, Japan||South Korea||1–0||2–3||1994 Asian Games quarter-finals|
|24||8 January 1995||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||Argentina||1–4||1–5||1995 King Fahd Cup group stage|
|25||28 May 1995||Tokyo, Japan||Ecuador||2–0||3–0||Friendly|
|27||20 September 1995||Tokyo, Japan||Paraguay||1–0||1–2||Friendly|
|28||24 October 1995||Tokyo, Japan||Saudi Arabia||2–0||2–1||Friendly|
|29||24 October 1995||Matsuyama, Japan||Saudi Arabia||1–1||2–1||Friendly|
|30||19 February 1996||Hong Kong, China||Poland||4–0||5–0||Friendly|
|31||26 May 1996||Tokyo, Japan||FR Yugoslavia||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
|32||29 May 1996||Fukuoka, Japan||Mexico||2–2||3–2||Friendly|
|33||25 August 1996||Osaka, Japan||Uruguay||2–1||5–3||Friendly|
|35||9 December 1996||Al Ain, UAE||Uzbekistan||2–0||4–0||1996 AFC Asian Cup group stage|
|36||15 March 1997||Bangkok, Thailand||Thailand||1–1||1–3||Friendly|
|37||15 March 1997||Muscat, Oman||Macau||4–0||10–0||1998 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|39||21 May 1997||Tokyo, Japan||South Korea||1–1||1–1||Friendly|
|40||8 June 1997||Tokyo, Japan||Croatia||2–0||4–3||Friendly|
|42||22 June 1997||Tokyo, Japan||Macau||3–0||10–0||1998 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|48||25 June 1997||Tokyo, Japan||Nepal||2–0||3–0|
|50||7 September 1997||Tokyo, Japan||Uzbekistan||1–0||6–3|
|54||16 February 2000||Macau, China||Brunei||4–0||9–0||2000 AFC Asian Cup qualification|
|55||6 June 2000||Casablanca, Morocco||Jamaica||4–0||4–0||2000 King Hassan II International Cup Tournament|
- Campeonato Alagoano: 1987
- Campeonato Paranaense: 1989
- Japan Soccer League: 1990–91, 1991–92,
- J1 League: 1993, 1994
- Japan Soccer League Cup: 1991
- J.League Cup: 1992, 1993, 1994
- Emperor's Cup: 1996
- Xerox Super Cup: 1994, 1995
- J2 League: 2006
- "Boa Sorte Kazu! – Museum – Profile – Personal Data". Archived from the original on 15 March 2008.
- "'King Kazu' rewrites record". The Japan Times. 19 June 2016. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
- Strack-Zimmermann, Benjamin. "Yokohama FC". National Football Teams. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
- "Boa Sorte Kazu! – Museum – Profile – Biodata". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
- "Asia's Footballer 1992". IFFHS. Archived from the original on 13 September 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
- Tamura, Owen Amos and Hideharu (6 September 2020). "How the 54-year-old pro footballer keeps going". BBC News. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
- "Kazuyoshi Miura breaks oldest goalscorer record in J-League". BBC Sport. 13 March 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
- Grez, Matias (13 January 2020). "World's oldest professional footballer Kazuyoshi Miura, 52, signs new contract". CNN. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
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- 『Dear Kazu 僕を育てた55通の手紙』（2011年、文藝春秋）ISBN 9784163747309 P.60-62
- 週刊サッカーダイジェスト 1995．2.15 P.13
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- "Japan striker breaks Stan Matthews' record but pleads: Don't compare us!". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 7 March 2017.[permanent dead link]
- "Kazuyoshi Miura scores at 50 to beat Sir Stanley Matthews' record". The Guardian. London. Associated Press. 13 March 2017.
- "Kazuyoshi Miura: The Japan legend still going strong after 50". These Football Times. 30 January 2018.
- "Kazuyoshi Miura: Japanese striker signs new deal at 50". BBC Sport. 11 January 2018.
- "King Kazu has that #FridayFeeling – he's just signed another professional contract, aged 51". FIFA.com Twitter. 11 January 2019.
- Varley, Ciaran (15 January 2020). "Kazuyoshi Miura: Japanese striker, 52, signs new Yokohama FC contract". BBC Sport.
- "Kazuyoshi Miura signs contract to play past 54th birthday in Japan's top flight". The Guardian. 11 January 2021. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
- "Football: 53-year-old Kazuyoshi Miura sets league cup age record". Kyodo News. 5 August 2020.
- "Kazuyoshi Miura, King of Asian Football". FIFA. 24 April 1998. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
- "MIURA Kazuyoshi - Japan National Football Team Database". www.jfootball-db.com.
- "Soccer: King Kazu Debuts For Japan Futsal Team In Draw With Brazil". Japan Bullet. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
- "Kazu marks first futsal goal in win over Ukraine". Japan Bullet. 28 October 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
- "Soccer has no expiration date for Kazuyoshi Miura - LatinAmerican Post". latinamericanpost.com.
- "King Kazu – Once a Player, Always a Player | Japan Zone".
- Nippon Sports Kikaku Publishing inc./日本スポーツ企画出版社, "J1&J2&J3選手名鑑ハンディ版 2019 (NSK MOOK)", 9 February 2019, Japan, ISBN 978-4905411628 (p. 161 out of 289)
- Nippon Sports Kikaku Publishing inc./日本スポーツ企画出版社, "J1&J2&J3選手名鑑ハンディ版 2018 (NSK MOOK)", 7 February 2018, Japan, ISBN 978-4905411529 (p. 191 out of 289)
- Nippon Sports Kikaku Publishing inc./日本スポーツ企画出版社, "2016J1&J2&J3選手名鑑", 10 February 2016, Japan, ISBN 978-4905411338. p. 215
- "Japan - K. Miura - Profile with news, career statistics and history - Soccerway". uk.soccerway.com.
- "Kazuyoshi "Kazu" Miura – Goals in International Matches". www.rsssf.com.
- "Kazu Miura – Honours". thefinalball. Retrieved 27 February 2017.