20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Japan has been dishing out sports anime left and right. It seems like soccer is a fan favorite to watch among the popular sports anime. Since the first soccer anime aired, several others followed, and now this specific sports anime has taken up a massive percentage in the sports genre. Here are 20 excellent soccer anime you should try out.

20. Farewell, My Dear Cramer

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Episodes: 13

Studios: Liden Films

Creator:Naoshi Arakawa

Male-centered teams dominate soccer anime as opposed to female ones. If you are looking for a unique soccer anime with a female team, you should try out “Farewell, My Dear Cramer.” The anime follows Nozomi Onda, a female soccer player who has only played in boy’s teams since she was in middle school. The prodigy believes that playing without girl soccer players might drag her down.

In high school, she meets other girls worthy to play against and team up with to form a team. But, according to a few fans, while the anime is quite good, the manga tends to have a more significant impact.

19. Akakichi no Eleven

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Episodes: 52

Studios: Tokyo TV Doga

Creators: Ikki Kajiwara, Mitsuyoshi Sonoda

Shingo Tamai is a young and restless high school student hailing from Shinsei High School. During his first year, the soccer team suddenly gets itself a new coach named Tenpei Matsuki. The only problem is, Tenpai is overly harsh to the members. Shingo disagrees with his methods and forms an unofficial soccer team to go against Tenpai’s team.

The story shows how the team grows and competes for the school and the relationship between the characters.

18. Hungry Heart Wild Striker

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Episodes: 52

Studios: Nippon Animation

Creator/s: Yoichi Takahashi

If you’ve loved Yoichi Takahashi’s Captain Tsubasa, then you’ll probably like his other work, Hungry Heart: Wild Striker. The anime is about Kano Kyosuke, who has just transferred to Jyoyo Orange High School. The main character’s older brother is a popular A.C. Milan football player and taught him how to love and play soccer during his childhood. However, the two siblings are constantly being compared, with Kyosuke always being in his older brother’s shadow. This caused Kyosuke to lose his love for the game.

However, after a fateful meeting with Tsujiwaki Miki, Kyosuke started to grow a passion for the sport again. Since then, he joins the school’s soccer team and has made several friends.

17. Detective Conan Movie 16: The Eleventh Striker

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Type: Movie

Studios: YMS Entertainment

Writer: Kazunari Kouchi

Not exactly a sports anime. The franchise itself is known to be a detective series. However, Detective Conan featured a soccer event in their 16th film called: Detective Conan: The Eleventh Striker.

The movie kicks off when the Detective Boys attend a promotional event for soccer. In the event, the J league can play with the children. However, behind the scenes of this grand event is a serial bomber. Conan now must deal with the problem at hand.

16. Hitsugaya, Karin and Soccer Ball

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Type: Special Episode

Studios: Pierrot

Creator: Tite Kubo

This is actually just a single episode of the anime. In the 132nd episode of Bleach, Karin Kurosaki tries to get the 10th Division Captain Toshiro Hitsugaya to play and win an upcoming soccer game. While he initially refuses, he turns up during the game and plays with Karin’s friends to win. While this episode primarily has soccer in it, a Kumon eventually appears after the match, and the two of them battle it together.

15. Forza! Hidemaru

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Episodes: 26

Studios: Studio Gallop

Creator: Makoto Mizobuchi

Unlike most anime that first started out as manga or visual novels, Forza! Hidemaru started off as a television series. Instead of humans, this charming anime has a cast of wacky animals who have a passion for the sport soccer. It’s assumed that the anime was dated to be during the year of the World Cup of Japan and Korea based on the players’ outfits. The main character is a feisty soccer-playing fox called Hidemaru. He plays in a soccer team that includes his other animal friends.

14. Blue Lock

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Episodes: Unknown

Studio: 8bit

Creator: Mumeyuki Kaneshiro

The anime hasn’t aired yet, but people are expecting a great anime out of it based on the manga. If you’re also the type of person who enjoys waiting for the weekly episode, you can wait for this anime to air so you can follow the players’ adventures every week.

The series is set after the 2018 FIFA World Cup when Japan got eliminated. The loss prompted the Japanese Football union to nurture the sport more. The organization created a program that scouts high school players to play for Japan in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The players scouted will be put into intense training from the time they are scouted. A player, Isogai Yoichi, gets invited into the program after a devastating loss due to his teammates not taking the game seriously.

The coach for the program, Ego Jinpachi, wishes to change the traditional way of training players. He fully intends to bring the Japanese team to victory by creating the ultimate team through hardcore training. He puts the 300 forwards into an institution they call the Blue Lock to achieve this goal. The players are put into harsh training to create the best players.

13. Ganbare, Kickers!

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Episodes: 23

Studio: Pierrot

Creator: Noriaki Nagai

The Kickers is a soccer team that plays for Kitahara elementary school. While the team is filled with enthusiastic players, they have yet to win matches for the school. Kakeru Daichi, a newcomer, moves into town and immediately signs up for the Kickers, wanting to show his skills in the sport. With the newcomer on the team, the Kickers finally have the competent striker player they had needed. The now complete team feels motivated enough to go up against the Red Devils group.

The team loses to the Red Devils with a score of 10-1. However, the single goal that Kakeru scores inspires the team that if they train harder, they can make it far.

12. Moero! Top Striker

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Episodes: 49

Studio: Nippon Animation


Yoshimasa Takahashi, Yoshiyuki Suga

Instead of being based in Japan, Moero! Top Striker takes its viewers to Italy. The anime gained popularity in foreign countries over its country of origin. The series follows Hikaru Kicker, a young boy who deeply loves soccer. He moves to Italy in order to professionally learn the sport. He joins a strong team in Genova but quits the group to join a weaker one called Columbus.

Over time, the team grows stronger, strong enough to defeat more known teams such as Margarita. Finally, the team starts to think of joining the first-ever soccer tournament in Genova. Will Columbus end up becoming the best team in the region?

11. Ginga e Kickoff!!

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Episodes: 39

Studios: TYO Animations

Director: Konosuke Uda

Being part of a club with so few members is just asking for disbandment; we’ve seen this in several anime where the main character attempts to recruit members to a closing club to continue their passion in school. The story of Ginga e Kickoff!! is very similar. In the story, Sho Oda was a soccer team member in his school. However, the team got disbanded due to a lack of players. So now, he has to search for a\ players to put up a new group.

This anime’s good because the series does not have a prodigy protagonist. Instead, viewers will be able to see Sho’s power progression as the series goes further. Sho is an excellent example of an individual who has a passion for a hobby despite not being very good at it.

10. Days

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Episodes: 24

Studios: Mappa

Creator: Tsuyoshi Yasuda

The anime Days is about Tsukushi Tsukamoto. He is overly shy and clumsy, and other teens frequently bully him in the neighborhood. So he enrolls in Seiseki High School to be with his childhood friend Sayuri Tachibana. After visiting Sayuri at her job Tsukushi had a run-in with some bullies and got saved by Jin Kazama. Jin asks Tsukushi to join him in a game of futsal after he saves him since he is looking for a player.

By the time the match is about to begin, Tsukushi shows up in the game and surprises Jin by still playing despite sustaining injuries. Tsukushi decides that he enjoys futsal and soccer despite being clumsy after his experience with Jin. By the time school starts, he and Jin join the football club. However, Tsukushi is still clumsy and poor at the game.

9. Aoki Densetsu Shoot!

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Episodes: 58

Studios: Toei Animation

Creator: Tsukasa Oshima

Toshihiko “Toshi” Tanaka decided to join the same soccer club his idol played for when he was in high school, Kakehawa High School. Back in junior high school, Toshi played with some friends and was known as the Kakenishi trio. However, the other two could not continue their soccer career alongside Toshi.

When Toshi entered high school, he was greeted with bad news. The captain of the soccer team had to leave due to falling ill. This halted his soccer career due to first-year students not being allowed to become regulars or practice with the older players.

8. Whistle!

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Episode: 39

Studios: Studio Comet

Creator: Daisuke Higuchi

Height has always been something to consider in most sports. Just like the short protagonists in Haikyuu, Kazamatsuri Shou is of similar stature. However, he does not have the same talent as the protagonist of Haikyuu. Apparently, Shou is not very talented in the game, but that does not stop him from wanting to become a professional soccer player. Now at his new school, Sho has to work hard to become the pride of his new team.

7. Area no Kishi

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Episodes: 37

Studios Shin-Ei Animation

Kakeru and Suguru Aizawa are brothers who both love soccer. Suguru follows this passion and becomes a rising star in Japan. Meanwhile, Kakeru takes a managerial role. After struggling in the field, Kakeru decides to reenter the world of soccer.

To join the ranks of the national team, Kakeru trains hard to get better at the game. With the help of his childhood friend, Nana, Kakekru aims for the top. 

6. Giant Killing

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Episodes: 26

Studios: Studio Deen

Creator: Masaya Tsunamoto

East Tokyo United is a Japanese soccer team that has been in Japan’s top football league for a few years. It’s gotten so bad that their fans have started to abandon the team. In an effort to improve ETU’s performance, they hired a new coach, Tatsumi Takeshi. Unfortunately, the new coach has his work cut off for him due to ETU being pitted against teams with a higher budget and better players.

But these teams aren’t aware that Tatsumi is an expert when it comes to giant-killing. So he’s aiming to make the team he trains to become the best team there is.

5. Aoashi

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Episodes: Ongoing

Studios: Production IG

Creator: Yugo Kobayashi

Most of the soccer anime in this list are rather old, but here’s some meat if you’re looking for new soccer anime to indulge in. Aoashi follows the journey of a third-year middle school student Ashito Aoi who goes to Ehime City Middle School. He aims to enter a good high school with a well-known soccer team in Japan in the future. However, an incident causes his chances of getting into one in critical condition. However, he manages to catch the eye of someone who was visiting from Tokyo looking for talent.

4. Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun 

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Episodes: 12

Studios: Studio Hibari

Creator: Taku Sakamoto

An anime series becomes entertaining if they have a main character with unique personality traits. In this series, newcomers are introduced to a first-year student named Aoyama. He is an all-around ikemen, but most importantly, he is obsessed with cleanliness. What’s even more interesting is that he is a clean freak that is also insanely good with soccer, a sport known for its players getting dirty.

The anime shows Aoyama’s attempts to score goals and bring his team to victory cleanly. However, if push comes to shove, Aoyama is willing to get dirty for his underdog team to win.

3. Inazuma Eleven GO

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Episodes: 47

Studios OLM

Director: Katsuhito Akiyama

If you are a fan of the first Inazuma eleven, this is a new series for it, this time. With a new protagonist. The series takes place 19 years after the FFI. Soccer in Japan has changed considerably over the years to the point there are fewer fans these days and even lesser players. The new protagonist, Matsukaze Tenma, learns about these when he gets involved with the new Raimon soccer team. He learns that soccer in Japan is under the command of an organization named the Fifth Sector led by Ishido Shuuji. The organization and its leader will dictate who can win or lose a match.

Raimon Academy is now on a quest to make soccer enjoyable for everyone once again. The good news for fans is that old characters from the original Inazuma eleven are also present in the series and will aid the new protagonists.

2. Inazuma Eleven

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Episodes: 127 (original)

Studios OLM

Director: Katsuhito Akiyama

Most soccer teams in Japan aim to make it to the national stage, but for Raimon Middle School they’re only trying not to disband. So Mamoru Endou, the team’s current captain, takes it upon himself to fix the club and recruit new members.

Mamoru soon discovers Shuuya Gouenji, who has happened to have given up on soccer. Mamoru tries his luck out on him and recruits him to join the team.

1. Captain Tsubasa

20 Best Soccer/Football Anime of All Time (Ranked) 

Episodes 175

Studios: Studio Comet, Group TAC

Creator: Yoichi Takahashi

The story follows a boy named Tsubasa Ozora who moved to a new town with his mother. Since his childhood, he had already loved soccer, and the partial reason for the move was to get into a better soccer team in Nankatsu. Captain Tsubasa eventually became a historic anime and manga around the world. A number of real-life players have started their professional careers in soccer due to being influenced by this anime.

  • Hrvoje Milakovic is co-owner of Voice Film and a big cinephile. Apart from that, he likes to read comics, play games and collect action figures. He has been featured on LifeWire, Yahoo and IMDb, to name a few.