Kazuyoshi Miura becomes oldest player in Portuguese football

At 56, former Japan striker Kazuyoshi Miura made his debut for Portuguese second-tier club Oliveirense, adding another achievement to his illustrious career. Miura, who is currently on loan from Yokohama FC, came on in the 90th minute of a 4-1 win against Academico de Viseu.

According to a report on the Portuguese league’s website, this made him the oldest footballer ever to play in Portuguese football at 56 years, one month, and 24 days. 

Miura has played for several clubs worldwide, including Palmeiras, Genoa, Dinamo Zagreb, and Vissel Kobe. He has played in six countries, starting at Brazil’s Santos in 1986. Known as “King Kazu” by fans, he won the Asian Cup with Japan in 1992, played 89 times for his country, and is their second-highest all-time scorer with 55 goals. His last international match was in 2000.

Why the Japanese legend keeps going

Japanese football legend Miura Kazuyoshi celebrated his 56th birthday on 26 February. However, despite his age, he is still actively involved in football. Oliveirense are currently 11th in Liga Portugal 2, one of the many leagues to bet on soccer Betway.

During a remote press conference from Portugal, Miura admitted that he feels like he’s in his 60s, even though he just turned 56. He also shared that when he moved to Brazil at 15, he used to think that people in their 50s and 60s were already “granddads”, but now that he’s reached that age, he finds it difficult to accept that he’s considered an old man.

Miura Kazuyoshi shared an anecdote about how a father referred to him as “granddaddy” when he saw Miura holding a ball in an elevator with his kid who was around two or three years old. Miura was surprised by this as he found it shocking that he was being perceived as an old man. He even joked that he probably looks 70 years old to some people. However, despite his age, Miura can still call himself a professional footballer, a feat that not many in his age group can claim.

Kazuyoshi Miura, a former national team standout who played a key role in the early days of the J.League, is one of Japan’s most beloved athletes of all time. His popularity is not solely based on the seniority and longevity values that are highly valued in Japanese culture. The public genuinely adores Miura, much like baseball star Ohtani Shohei. Soccer fans will be following the Portuguese second division side with a lot of interest, and can place wagers with Betway to be a part of the action.

Before the emergence of other Japanese football stars like Mitoma Kaoru, Kubo Takefusa, Ono Shinji, and Nakata Hidetoshi, Miura was the first true hero of Japanese football. His nickname, “King Kazu” is a testament to his legacy, which will live on for years to come.

Portugal is the fifth foreign country where Miura has played professional football, following stints in Brazil, Italy, Croatia, and Australia. He is currently in his 38th professional season and most of his teammates were not even born when he started playing for Brazil’s Santos.

Despite the challenges of playing professional football at his age, Miura switched from Suzuka Point Getters in the Japan Football League - the de facto fourth tier of Japanese football - to Oliveirense, fully aware of what lay ahead.

King Kazu’s made history following his debut at his age, but there is more to look forward to. You can bet on him with Betway to get on the score sheet before the league ends.