• Kyodo, staff report

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Kazuyoshi Miura entered the record books as the oldest-ever player in a J. League first-division match on Wednesday after starting for Yokohama FC against Kawasaki Frontale.

With his appearance at 53 years, 6 months and 28 days, the former Japan forward, known to fans as King Kazu, eclipsed the previous record of 45 years, 2 months and 1 day set by Masashi Nakayama with Consadole Sapporo in 2012.

Miura became the oldest player to take to the pitch in the J.League’s cup competition, the Levain Cup, in a 1-0 win against Sagan Tosu on Aug. 5, then extended his record a week later in a 1-1 draw with Consadole Sapporo.

He was named to a J1 matchday squad for the first time this season against Nagoya Grampus on Sept. 13, but he did not come off the bench in the clash at Yokohama’s Mitsuzawa Stadium.

“Kazu, congratulations on becoming the J1’s oldest player,” J. League Chairman Mitsuru Murai said in a statement. “This is surely the fruit of your strenuous efforts to stay fit as a professional player.

“This great record, which will surely live on in Japanese soccer history, will shine a light on what lies ahead for other players as well as children who hope to become soccer players one day.”

“The word sees you continuing your challenge, and your presence is our pride. I look forward to even more activity from you in the future.”

The game against league leader Kawasaki at Todoroki Stadium marked Miura’s first appearance in a J1 match since 2007, also with Yokohama.

Miura was substituted off in the 56th minute with Yokohama trailing 2-1. Frontale eventually won 3-2 to extend their lead atop the J1 table to 11 points over second-place Cerezo Osaka.

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