A delegation from Santos has paid a visit to one of the club’s old friends during a visit to Japan for a pre-FIFA Club World Cup technical inspection. Kazuyoshi Miura, a legend in Japan and an ambassador for December’s global showpiece, played for Santos in 1990, earning the eternal admiration of Santistas.
Still playing for Yokohama FC at the ripe old age of 44, the man known as ‘King Kazu’ met the Santos delegation after a two-hour training session in the rain, still full of enthusiasm and “feeling very well” about his continued involvement.
The visiting Brazilians - Santos marketing manager Armenio Neto, communications co-ordinator Arnaldo Hase and operations manager Luiz Fernando Vella – brought with them the gift of a club shirt signed by Neymar, much to the delight of Miura.
“I appreciate the gift,” he said. “I have so many good memories of my time playing in Brazil and specially at Santos, which is of course Pele’s team. I hope you do a great job at the FIFA Club World Cup.”
Speaking in perfect Portuguese, Miura recalled his short but memorable stint in Brazil and looked back over some of his goals in a Santos shirt. “I was very young and learned a lot from Santos, and from all the people who helped me and played alongside me there. I just have to be thankful for that chance and for all the kindness Brazilian people have always shown me.”
Told that Jose Macia 'Pepe', an eternal Santos idol as player and coach, had sent his best regards from Brazil, King Kazu smiled. "Mr Macia was my coach at Santos and with Yumiuri, in Japan,” he said. “Please tell him I'm very grateful for all that he taught me.”