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Golden oldie 'King Kazu' renews contract before 52nd birthday

By Toru Yamanaka

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© 2019 AFP

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Amazing King Kazu! He is fitter in his 50s than most people in their 20’s! One of the best Japanese players ever, along with Honda and Nakata.

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My knee's gave up my early 30s, so had to give football up :(

I salute you, Sir !

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Signed for publicity, no way is a 52 year old as competitive as people half his age. Good luck to him but if his name wasn't Kazu he'd be looking for work.

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Ganbare Japan!: "Amazing King Kazu! He is fitter in his 50s than most people in their 20’s! One of the best Japanese players ever..."

A good player, perhaps, but hogwash that he is in good shape just because he was resigned at his age. Japanese athletes love to do this -- stay one well beyond their prime, and be hailed at home for it while they become mediocre at best (if they were beyond that to start with). Kimiko Date-Krumm, while admirable that she kept playing for the love of it, didn't exactly win any blowouts in her last 10 or more years at the sport. Ichiro... how's he doing these days? And who was the other Japanese player who insisted on staying on then his knees blew, and he had to come back to Japan where he was given a record contract by the Hanshin Tigers (before quietly not really playing beyond a few games)?

Nakata was indeed a fine player, and he knew when to get out. Honda, on the contrary, is not as great as the media is and has pushed, and is past his prime but is already talking about wanting to appear in the Olympics again, etc.

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Agree Honda is overhyped. Good for attracting Japanese eyeballs but nothing else. Nakata, is was and likely for a long time to come the best soccer player out of Japan.

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