Thirty years of ups and downs -- the last five of which he has spent living in a park -- have not rusted Takashi Ito's ball-control skills as much as he had thought they would.

Ito, 50, wants to score at least one goal in the upcoming Homeless World Cup, an annual tournament for homeless players to be held in Sweden later this month.

"It is like riding a bicycle. Once you learn, your body always remembers," said Ito, a former restaurateur who has lived in Tokyo's Shinjuku Chuo Park for the past five years and who played soccer for two years in high school.