Miura is oldest scorer in football history

Since the early 1990s, Japan striker Kazuyoshi Miura has been plundering goals for both club and country. Now 50 years old, he still intends to play until he is 60.
Since the early 1990s, Japan striker Kazuyoshi Miura has been plundering goals for both club and country. Now 50 years old, he still intends to play until he is 60.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

TOKYO • Kazuyoshi Miura scored the only goal in Yokohama FC's win over Thespa Kusatsu in J-League 2 at the weekend to become the oldest professional footballer to score a competitive goal, beating Stanley Matthews' 52-year-long record.

He also improved his own mark as the oldest scorer in Japanese professional football.

The former Japan striker, who made his professional debut for Brazilian club Santos in 1986, found the net in the 40th minute of Sunday's match for his first goal of the season at the age of 50 years and 14 days old.

"I'm always looking to score, but I had an especially good feeling today," Miura, who is in his 32nd year as a professional, told Kyodo news. "I had a hunch I would score. I was just trying to stay positive."

Miura, whose career has also included spells in Italy and Croatia, scored 55 goals in 89 appearances for Japan between 1990 and 2000.

England great Matthews scored his last goal as a professional in a competitive match for Stoke City against Swansea in the FA Cup fifth round in 1964 when he was 49 years, 14 days old.

Though the pin-up looks have been replaced by tell-tale wrinkles and greying hair, Miura has signalled his intent to play until he is 60.

Miura shot to fame in the early 1990s as Asia's best known footballer, helping to put the Japanese game on the map after the professional J-League was launched in 1993.

He blazed a trail for Japanese players when he joined Italy's Genoa in 1994. In 21 appearances for the Serie A side, he scored once.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2017, with the headline 'Miura is oldest scorer in football history'. Print Edition | Subscribe