Japans King Kazu to play in futsal World Cup

19 October 2012 11:47

Kazuyoshi Miura, the 1993 Asian Footballer of the Year and the oldest J-League player at 45, will make his debut in the World Cup -- in the five-a-side version of futsal.

The Yokohama FC striker was named on Friday to the country's 14-strong squad for the futsal World Cup in Thailand next month, the Japan Football Association said.

He has never made the football World Cup finals and was surprisingly dropped from Japan's France 1998 squad by then coach Takeshi Okada although he had helped the Blue Samurai book their first-ever ticket to the big stage.

Known to his fans as "King Kazu", Miura has been on loan to the national futsal team for their training camp ahead of the World Cup.

Miura, who played at Brazilian clubs from 1986-1990 early in his professional career, said in a statement through the association: "With the pride and responsibility of a national team member, I will play with all of my might."

Japan futsal coach Miguel Rodrigo told reporters: "I expect him to provide finishing power and leadership that have been lacking in the team.

"He can give us a mixture of intelligence and experience."

Miura scored 55 goals in 89 international matches he played for Japan between 1990 and 2000.

Source: AFP

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