3 Active Veteran Players in the Japanese League

The main soccer competition in Japan, Meiji Yasuda J1 League 2021, has its own color with several veteran players who are still actively playing. Their names are not only heard at the domestic level, but also across various countries.

The presence of these veteran players has also become a special attraction for Japanese League football fans. Who are they?

Kazuyoshi Miura

Kazuyoshi Miura owns the record as the oldest professional player in the world. Currently, he is still listed as a Yokohama FC player. Born February 26, 1967, he is now 54 years old!

He started his professional career at the Brazilian League club, Santos, in 1986. Miura did go to Brazil when he was 15 years old to become a professional player. He strengthened many Brazilian clubs, before then playing in Europe with Genoa and Dinamo Zagreb.

The player who is usually called King Kazu also defended the Japanese national team 89 times with a record of 55 goals. He has defended Yokohama FC since 2005 and managed to bring this team back to the top caste in 2020. This season he played four times, once in the J1 League and three times in the J.League Cup, with a total of 43 minutes games.

Shinji Ono

Shinji Ono was the star of the Japanese national team in three World Cups: 1998, 2002, and 2006. He brought the Blue Samurai to win the 2000 Asian Cup. In total, this bald-headed man played 56 times for the Japanese national team with a record of six goals in 1998 until 2008.

Even though he is now 41 years old, Ono is still active as a player in Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo in the J1 League. The man who was born on 27 September 1979 started his career with Urawa Red Diamonds in 1998 and has played for Feyenoord, VfL Bochum, Western Syndey Wanderers, and Shimizu S-Pulse. Earlier this season, he returned to the club he played for from 2014 to 2019, Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo.

The midfielder played 10 times in all competitions, five times in the J.League Cup, three in the J1 League and two in the Emperor’s Cup by scoring one goal in the competition.

Shunsuke Nakamura

Shunsuke Nakamura was the main face of Japanese football and national team from 2000 to 2010. Wearing the number 10 jersey and becoming the center of the game, he made 98 appearances in the Samurai Blue, scored 24 goals, and won the Asian Cup twice (2000 and 2004).

The 43-year-old man who was born June 24, 1978 has not retired and is still playing with Yokohama FC in the J1 League. Nakamura started his career with Yokohama F. Marinos in 1997, before then playing for European clubs, such as Reggina, Celtic FC, Espanyol, before returning to the Japanese League.

He joined Yokohama FC in 2019 after three seasons with Jubilo Iwata, bringing his club to the top tier in 2020. This season, the man known for his left-footed free-kick has played nine times, with seven in the J1 League, once in the Cup Emperor, and once in the J.League Cup. He played 300 minutes in total. Moreover, he doesn’t look like he’s ready to retire anytime soon.

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