According to our records, the world’s oldest active player is
New York City FC Manchester City midfielder and World War II fighter pilot, Frank Lampard. It seems we may have miscalculated. That distinction actually belongs to Kazuyoshi Miura of Yokohama FC in the Japanese second division, who has just signed a contract extension for another season. He will be 48 years old when the new deal wraps.
Miura has lived a fairly interesting soccer life. He has featured for Santos in Brazil, Genoa — he was the first Japanese player in Serie A — and Sydney FC. Now, in his twilight years, he can sit with his grandkids, with a bowl of hard candy, regaling them with tales of walking across four continents and breaking bread with a diverse spectrum of fascinating characters.
The former Japanese international does nod off from time to time, but the kids don’t mind; they know granddad is tired. No one believes him when he spins his fantastical yarns about playing with a man called Dwight Yorke who sailed to Sydney from a mystical island called Trinidad.
Miura’s place in the record books doesn’t come without some controversy. If he ever decides to be honest, Diego Costa will admit that he’s actually 67, and the rightful crown-holder. We aren’t sure why he isn’t being truthful. He’s got his contract already, and it would definitely be an uplifting story for seniors.
But as it stands, Miura is the standard. But, with only four appearances for Yokohama this season, “active player” is a slight stretch. We can’t ignore the possibility that he or the club are operating some kind of social security scam. Maybe Miura’s age drastically impacts the average age of employees for Yokohama’s owners, and now they’re eligible for some big government contract. All things are possible in this sport.