Football

Miura, 50, surpasses English legend Matthews' record

Twinkle-toed Japanese footballer Kazuyoshi Miura has racked up another astonishing landmark by eclipsing former England great Stanley Matthews in the record books with his second professional appearance since turning 50.

Miura, who last week became the first 50-something to grace the J-League, played in Yokohama FC's 1-1 draw against V-Varen Nagasaki last Sunday at 50 years and seven days - two days older than Matthews was when he turned out for Stoke City against Fulham in 1965.

"(Matthews) was a legendary player for us," golden oldie Miura told local media.

"I don't actually feel like I've gone past a legend.

"I may have surpassed him in longevity, but I won't ever be able to match his statistics and the career he had. It's not so much about numbers anyway, it's more about how you play."

Miura lasted 54 minutes at Nagasaki and failed to get a shot on goal, after playing for just over an hour in last weekend's 1-0 home win over Division Two rivals Matsumoto Yamaga.

"I didn't get a sniff," said Miura, now looking to become the first 50-something to score a J-League goal.

Miura shot to fame in the early 1990s as Asia's best-known footballer, blazing a trail for Japanese players when he joined Italy's Genoa in 1994. He scored 55 goals in 89 games for Japan.

Matthews won 84 England caps, including two appearances for Great Britain. He remains the only man to have played in England's top flight at the age of 50. - AFP

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