• Kyodo

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J. League first-division club Vissel Kobe said Tuesday veteran striker and former Japan national team player Kazuyoshi Miura will join second-division side Yokohama FC in a full transfer deal.

Miura, who at 38 is the oldest player in the top flight, has been targeted by Yokohama FC at a time when he has been given limited playing opportunities for Kobe as the season wore on. Details of his contract with Yokohama FC were not immediately known.

Miura has been left out of the Kobe squad for its last five league matches under Czech manager Pavel Rehak, who took over from Emerson Leao last month after the Brazilian failed to save the club from languishing in the bottom of the first division.

“Our players can learn a lot from his career and experience and, hopefully, he will help our club get promotion to the top division,” Yokohama FC general manager Yasuhiko Okudera said.

Yokohama FC is struggling in the second division where is stands next-to-last in the 12-team table.

Miura made his professional debut in Brazil after leaving Japan as a 15-year-old and played for Verdy Kawasaki for six seasons beginning with the J. League’s inaugural season in 1993.

He had spells abroad with Italian club Genoa in 1994-1995 and Croatia Zagreb in 1999, before joining Kyoto Purple Sanga of the J. League in August 1999 and moving to Kobe in 2001.

Miura played 91 times for Japan and scored 56 goals, second on the all-time list.

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