‘King Kazu’ mulling Futsal World Cup invitation


Kazuyoshi Miura could finally realize his dream of playing in a World Cup — the Futsal World Cup, that is.

Miura, the oldest player ever in the J. League at 45 currently with Yokohama FC of the second division, has been asked to play for Japan at the Nov. 1-18 Futsal World Cup in Thailand, Japan Football Association president Kuniya Daini said on Monday.

According to Daini, Miura is leaning toward accepting the offer provided that he remains fit. Yokohama is ninth in J2 with 10 games left in the season, and Miura has appeared in only 14 of the club’s 32 matches with one goal to show for.

“I’ve been told he’s up for it,” Daini said. “It will come down to his physical condition and the circumstances of his club.”

Miura, arguably the most popular player in Japanese soccer history, helped Japan qualify for its first World Cup in 1998 but failed to make the cut for Takeshi Okada’s final squad.

Harboring World Cup dreams, Miura had dropped out of high school to become a professional in Brazil, returning in time to help launch the J. League in 1993.

He made his futsal debut for Espolada Hokkaido in the Japanese F-League in January, playing one game. Japan is the Asian champion in futsal.