The world’s oldest professional footballer wakes up at 5am in order to eat and keep his body in working order.
Kazuyoshi Miura, 53, signed a contract extension with Japan’s Yokohama FC this week, nearly 35 years after making his debut.
And it’s his radical fitness plans, which include drinking specially imported water from Italy, that have helped keep him in check.
Miura will turn 54 the day before the new J League season begins, and claimed he wanted to continue after how much he enjoyed the last campaign.
He said: “Last season, I was feeling the joy of playing football at a time when the world was facing a tough situation because of the new coronavirus.”
Miura became the oldest professional to score a goal a few years ago when he scored at the age of 50 to break the record set by Sir Stanley Matthews.
His playing time may have diminished slightly in recent years due to his age, but he’s kept himself in superb condition due to a vigorous regime off the pitch.
Miura wakes up at 5am every day for breakfast, which is prepared by his own personal nutritionist.
His diet is high protein low fat, steak fillets and salads, and it has been claimed that if his iron levels are ever low he will simply seek out a local restaurant and eat some liver.
The New York Times reports that after training Miura will sit in an ice bath and drink a special carbonated water from Italy, which he refers to as ‘orange juice’.
He apparently checks his own weight and body fat as often as five times a day in order to make sure he isn’t letting himself go.
Miura first started playing football after his father travelled to the 1970 World Cup in Mexico and filmed a game involving Pele.
He studied the film while growing up and used it as inspiration for his own career.
“I became a fan of Brazilian football,” he explained. “From the time I was a little boy, I wanted to live as a professional player.”
Known as ‘King Kazu’ in Japan, Miura is a cult hero and widely credited for the success of the J-League, having returned to his home country after a stint in Brazil with Juventus.
Such was his success, he was named the Most Valuable Player in the first-ever J-League season, beating Gary Lineker to the gong.
It has been claimed in the past that Yokahoma games are attended by an extra 4,000 fans if Miura is likely to play.
Miura seems to have no desire to retire any time soon, and insisted he is still enjoying playing football despite his limited game time.
“Yes, I still enjoy playing football – every moment,” he explained.
“Really, I enjoy it even more than when I was in Brazil.”