|King Kazu in 1993 (via J.LEAGUE)
WHY DO SO MANY PLAYERS IN JAPAN CONTINUE TO SHINE WELL INTO THEIR LATE 30S AND 40S?
Knowing the professional game in Japan, and indeed society at large, diet is a major factor. Japan has the oldest life expectancy (84.2) in the world and the low cholesterol diet, consisting of fish, veg and fermented food, is widely touted as one of the key reasons for this. It seems reasonable to assert that this offers their athletes the grounding to play longer and not feel the sudden effects of the aging process.
[...] the most prescient reason as to why players in Japan seem to go on so much longer is to do with a wage structure that is aligned with your regular working world than a sports club. In Japan, your wage continues to go up the older you get rather than slowly decrease as your usefulness depletes.
Evidently, the drive to settle down and retire isn’t really there. You don’t have to suffer the ignominy of falling down the divisions to crowd calls that you are fat and past it; instead, you can just keep on playing with your workload reduced and your wage up, still receiving adulation from the fans. The real question is: why would you retire?
via These Football Times
WE THINK IT'S THE MERCH: