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Soccer: 'King Kazu' to play on in J-League top flight at age 54

Kazuyoshi Miura of Yokohama FC. (Photo courtesy of J-League/Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Kazuyoshi Miura, the oldest-ever player in the J-League top flight, will continue playing at age 54 with first-division Yokohama FC, the club said Monday.

    Known to fans as "King Kazu," the former Japan striker will turn 54 on Feb. 26 in what will be the 36th year of a professional soccer career that began when he moved to Brazil as a teenager.

    Miura played four J1 games for Yokohama FC last season as the club returned to the top flight for the first time since 2007.

    "My aspirations and passion for soccer are only increasing," Miura said in a statement through the club.

    Miura entered the record books as the oldest-ever player in a J1 match last September after starting for Yokohama FC against Kawasaki Frontale.

    With his appearance at 53 years, 6 months and 28 days, he eclipsed the previous record of 45 years, 2 months and 1 day set by Masashi Nakayama with Consadole Sapporo in 2012.

    While he did not find the net for Yokohama FC in the league last season, Miura still aims to supplant Zico as the oldest-ever goal scorer in the J1. The Brazilian great achieved the feat with Kashima Antlers in 1994 at 41 years, 3 months and 12 days.

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