Soccer / J. League

49-year-old 'King Kazu' rewrites scoring record

Kyodo

Kazuyoshi Miura broke his record as the J. League’s oldest scorer on Sunday in stunning fashion, belting home an unstoppable effort from inside the box to kick start Yokohama FC’s 3-2 comeback win at Cerezo Osaka in their second-division game.

The 49-year-old came on in the 69th minute and got on the scoresheet just six minutes later, showing his trademark stopovers to loft in a cross from the left before chesting down a headed clearance in the box and making space for himself to unleash a low curler into the far right corner that left the ‘keeper stranded.

The former Japan international’s second goal of the season was followed up by an equalizer from Ibba four minutes later before Tomoya Uchida struck the winner a minute into stoppage time that moved Yokohama FC up to 11th in the table while Cerezo dropped to fourth.

Miura’s latest milestone comes at the age of 49 years, 5 months and 12 days. The evergreen striker scored three last season in 16 league games.

The record for the oldest player to score in J1 is held by Brazilian icon and former Japan coach Zico, who scored at the age of 41 years, 3 months and 12 days for Kashima Antlers.

Miura traveled to Brazil as a 15-year-old in 1982 before becoming a professional, playing for several clubs, including powerhouse Santos.

He returned to Japan in 1990 and joined Yomiuri FC, which later became Verdy Kawasaki and then Tokyo Verdy, a dominant force in the J. League’s inaugural 1993 season. Miura had a loan spell with Genoa in the Italian Serie A in the 1994-95 season and another stint with Dinamo Zagreb in 1999.

After returning home to play for Kyoto Sanga and Vissel Kobe, Miura joined Yokohama FC in 2005 and appeared in the Club World Championship (now the Club World Cup) that year with Sydney FC on a short-term loan deal.

Miura, who netted 55 times in 89 games for Japan, has never appeared in the World Cup. He scored the opener against Iraq in the final playoff for the 1994 tournament, but Japan conceded a last-minute equalizer in Doha for a 2-2 draw and was eliminated.

Miura was dropped from the final squad for France 1998, where debutant Japan lost all three group stage games.