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 By Chris Wright

World's oldest professional footballer signs on for one more year

Kazuyoshi Miura, affectionally known as King Kazu, is still playing competitive football at 48.

Football has seen its fair share of golden oldies over the years, with a host of players defying medical science to make it past the big "4-0" mark without succumbing to the rigours of age.

That said, it's usually the goalkeepers who make it deep into their forties before bowing out, though veteran outfielders like Ryan Giggs, Javier Zanetti, Paolo Maldini, Teddy Sheringham and Rivaldo have all bucked that trend in recent-ish years.

However, one man putting all of those fly-by-night whippersnappers to shame is Japanese legend Kazuyoshi Miura who has signed up for another year at J League Division 2 side Yokohama FC, during which he'll turn 48.

Miura, affectionately known as "King Kazu" in J League circles, signed his first professional contract with Brazilian club Santos way back in 1986, enjoying something of an archetypal "journeyman" career well into his 30s in Japan, Italy and Russia before settling at Yokohama in 2005.

That said, King Kazu still has a fair old way to go to break Sir Stanley Matthews' record, with the legendary Stoke City winger keeping himself trim enough to play at the top level until he was 50-years-old.

Indeed, Matthews' final competitive appearance came in 1985 (the year before Kazu went pro) when he turned out for an England Veterans' XI against their Brazilian counterparts at the stately age of 70!

Matthews suffered knee cartilage damage during the game, later describing the injury as "a promising career cut tragically short" in his autobiography.

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