Japanese football legend Kazuyoshi Miura, widely recognized as the world’s oldest active professional player, has returned to Japan to join Atletico Suzuka Club on loan in the fourth-tier league.

Miura, affectionately known as “King Kazu,” embarks on his 39th year in professional football. Last season, he played for Portuguese side Oliveirense on loan from Yokohama FC. His illustrious career spans numerous clubs globally, including Palmeiras, Genoa, Dinamo Zagreb, and Vissel Kobe.

Addressing reporters on Tuesday, Miura expressed his determination, stating, “In my current situation, quitting is not an option for me. I deliberated on where and how best to channel my passion, and I concluded that Atletico Suzuka would provide the ideal platform.”

Highlighting his considerations for the move, he added, “Playing time was pivotal in my decision-making process. While it’s not guaranteed, Suzuka offered me the best opportunity. I am aware of my age – at 57, I am significantly older than most players. Despite this, I aim to contribute in a manner that defies traditional veteran playstyles.”

Miura, a former star of the Japan national team, boasts an impressive record of 55 goals in 89 international appearances. He clinched the Asian Cup title in 1992 and remains Japan’s second-highest goal scorer of all time.