Good news for fans of near-antiquated footballers: the oldest active professional player in the world, Kazuyoshi Miura, has signed a new contract that will see him play on beyond his 51st birthday.
The man they call ‘The King’ has agreed a new deal with Yokohama FC that will see him begin the 33rd season of his extended career at the J2 League side.
Speaking to the Kyodo news agency, Miura said:
I will always play my heart out and hope to continue to grow as a player.
Miura, who turns 51 at the end of February, made 12 appearances (scoring one goal) for Yokohama last season, so it’s not like he’s simply tagging along as a glorified mascot.
The striker is already the oldest player to feature in a professional, FIFA-recognised match having taken to the pitch aged 50 years and 7 days against V-Varen Nagasaki last march, thus edging past the previous record set by Stanley Matthews (50 years and 5 days) in 1965.
He doesn’t look bad on it, either.