Soccer, also known as football in many parts of the world, is a sport that captures the hearts of millions with its electrifying action and captivating narratives. Over the years, the love for soccer has transcended the real world and made its way into the realm of anime. From classic series that shaped the genre to newer releases that continue to enthrall audiences, soccer anime has become a genre with a dedicated fanbase. Here is our list of the top 20 most popular soccer anime of all time, where passion, friendship, and sheer determination collide on and off the field.
20. Moero! Top Striker
We are starting the list of the top 20 most popular football anime of all time with Moero! Top Striker; The series follows the story of Hikaru Yoshikawa, a 12-year-old Japanese boy who moves to Italy to pursue his dream of becoming a professional soccer player. Hikaru joins the Columbus soccer team, where he meets Annaliese Townsend, a young girl who is also passionate about soccer. Together, Hikaru and Annaliese train hard and eventually lead the Columbus team to victory in the national championship.
Moero! Top Striker has left a lasting impression on soccer anime fans, especially those who grew up watching it in the ’90s. While not as widely recognized as some other popular soccer anime series, it holds a special place in the hearts of viewers who were inspired by Sho’s determination and love for the game.
It was a popular anime series in Japan and was also broadcast in other countries, including France, Italy, and Spain. The series was praised for its exciting soccer action, diverse cast of characters, beautiful animation, and heartwarming story.
|Title||Moero! Top Striker|
19. Farewell, My Dear Cramer
Farewell, My Dear Cramer initially expresses how women’s soccer has been waning lately. However, there is still some growing talent at Warabi Seinan High School.
It follows the story of Nozomi Onda, a young girl who dreams of playing professional soccer. Nozomi is a talented player, but she faces many challenges as she tries to make her dream a reality. The series explores themes of friendship, teamwork, and the importance of never giving up on your dreams.
Taking our 19th spot of the top 20 most popular football anime of all time, the series is praised for its realistic portrayal of women’s soccer. The characters are complex and relatable, and the matches are exciting and well-choreographed. Farewell, My Dear Cramer is a must-watch for fans of soccer anime and anyone who enjoys a good coming-of-age story.
|Title||Sayonara Watashi no Cramer|
18. Victory Kickoff!!
Victory Kickoﬀ is a fairly well-rated soccer anime. The series follows the story of Shou Oota, a sixth-grader who loves soccer and dreams of becoming a professional player. After his team is disbanded, Shou sets out to find new members and reassemble the Momoyama Predators. Along the way, he meets a variety of other kids who share his passion for soccer, and together they learn the importance of teamwork, friendship, and never giving up on your dreams.
Victory Kickoff!! was praised for its realistic portrayal of elementary school soccer and for its heartwarming story, and it will stay with you long after you finish watching it. The series was also praised for its diverse cast of characters, which includes both boys and girls, as well as characters from different cultures.
|Title||Ginga e Kickoff!!|
17. Blue Legend Shoot!
Blue Legend Shoot! is an anime that depicts the relatable story of an average fanboy and his idol. Inspired by Yoshiharu Kubo’s phenomenal performance that led Kakegawa High School to a miraculous victory in a soccer tournament, Toshihiko Tanaka decides to enter the same school as his idol and join the soccer club, hoping to become as successful as Kubo. Being a freshman, he faces various challenges that can ruin his future.
Tanaka Starts to lose hope and is about to give up, but a miracle happens, he reunites with his childhood friend, Kazumi Endo. Who becomes a key to his success in the future.
One of the popular soccer anime, Blue Legend Shoot! continues to be remembered fondly by fans as a classic soccer anime, even though it might not be as widely recognized as other prominent soccer series like “Captain Tsubasa” or “Inazuma Eleven.” Nevertheless, its heartwarming story and portrayal of the beautiful game continue to resonate with audiences who appreciate the blend of sports, friendship, and determination that the anime offers.
|Title||Aoki Densetsu Shoot!|
The series follows the story of Goal Kitagawa, the captain and goalkeeper of the Koganedai Downtown FC Golden Kids, a high school soccer team that has lost 22 straight games. Goal is determined to win a game before he moves away next month, but the team is struggling, facing many challenges, including a lack of talent and support from the community.
Golden★Kids is a unique anime series that focuses on the mental and emotional aspects of playing soccer, and its realistic portrayal of a struggling soccer team. The series is not as action-packed as some other popular soccer anime, but it is still a worthwhile watch for fans of the genre.
15. Goal Field Hunter
The anime follows Hikaru Tatsumura, a young cheerful boy that came from Brazil to fulﬁll his dream of becoming a great soccer player. His personality is straightforward; he takes everything easy and simple, laughs, and always makes jokes but gets serious about soccer and challenges. He constantly tries to win diﬀerent challenges with his team and always accepts any challenge, no matter what.
Goal Field Hunter was not a particularly popular anime in Japan, but it has gained a cult following in recent years. The series has been praised for its realistic portrayal of soccer and for its heartwarming story about friendship and perseverance.
|Title||Goal FH: Field Hunter|
14. Offside (TV)
Oﬀside is about a tall high school boy, Goro Kumagaya, who plays the goalkeeper position. He aims to join Yokonan High School, an elite school that promises a good future. Unfortunately, he can’t get into the school he seeks to join but somehow ends up in a low-ranked school near Yokonan High. There he meets some talented soccer players; alongside his new teammates, Goro challenges Yokonan High and other elite schools to become stronger.
While experiencing hardships and challenges, he ﬁnds the best position to play, becoming an ace striker for his team. His existence as a playmaker helps the team grow stronger and get them closer to achieving championships.
If you are a fan of sports anime, then Offside is definitely worth checking out. The series is exciting and heartwarming, featuring a diverse cast of quirky characters.
|Genre||Action, Drama, Sports|
13. Futsal Boys!!!!!
The series follows the story of Haru Yamato, a young boy who was inspired to play futsal after watching Japanese futsal player Tokinari Tennoji compete at the U-18 World Cup. When given the opportunity on his first day at Koyo Gakuen High School, Haru enthusiastically joins the futsal club.
Haru is a talented futsal player, but he is also a bit of a loner. He doesn’t have many friends, and he doesn’t really know how to work well with others. However, as he gets to know his teammates, Haru begins to learn the importance of teamwork and friendship.
Futsal Boys!!!!! is a sports anime that focuses on the excitement of futsal and the importance of teamwork. The series also features a diverse cast of characters from different backgrounds and with different personalities. It is a heartwarming story about following your dreams and never giving up on yourself. The series is also a great introduction to the sport of futsal.
12. Dragon League
The series follows the story of Tokio, a young boy who lives in a medieval kingdom where everyone is obsessed with soccer (in other words, everywhere in Europe). Tokio’s father is turned into a miniature dragon by the evil Leon, and Tokio vows to defeat Leon so that his father can become human again.
To do this, Tokio assembles a ragtag team of soccer players to compete in the Dragon League, the country’s national soccer tournament. Along the way, Tokio and his team face off against some of the best soccer players in the country, including Leon’s team, the Winners.
While Dragon League may not be as widely recognized as some other sports anime, it remains a fun and entertaining series for those who enjoy soccer-themed shows with an element of fantasy and adventure. If you’re a fan of soccer and magical elements, Dragon League might be an anime worth checking out!
|Genre||Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Sports|
11. Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun
Next on our list of top 20 most popular football animw of all time is Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun, the series follows the story of Aoyama, a high school soccer prodigy who is also a clean freak. Aoyama is so obsessed with cleanliness that he refuses to touch anything that is not clean, including other people.
Despite his germophobia, Aoyama is a talented soccer player. He has the skills and the talent to be one of the best players in the world, but his cleanliness is holding him back.
Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun is a funny and heartwarming series about a young man who is trying to find a balance between his love of cleanliness and his passion for soccer. The series is also a great introduction to the sport of soccer.
Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun is an enjoyable and light-hearted sports comedy that stands out for its distinctive protagonist and entertaining soccer-themed humor. If you’re looking for a fun and quirky sports anime with a unique twist, this series might be a perfect fit.
|Title||Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun|
10. Fight! Kickers
The series follows the story of Gregor, a young boy who loves soccer. Gregor moves to a new town and joins the local soccer team, the Kickers. The Kickers are a struggling team, but Gregor’s arrival helps them to turn things around.
Gregor is a talented soccer player, but he is also a bit of a loner. He doesn’t have many friends, and he doesn’t really know how to work well with others. However, as he gets to know his teammates, Gregor begins to learn the importance of teamwork and friendship.
While Fight! Kickers might not be as well-known in more recent times as others on our list of popular soccer anime, it remains a classic in the sports anime genre, offering soccer action, friendship, and the pursuit of dreams, which continue to be themes that appeal to audiences who enjoy soccer-themed anime.
Shou Kazamatsuri, gets into the prestigious Musashi no Mori Junior High, an elite school, where he doesn’t get any playtime and is thrown into a third-set team because of his height and terrible skills.
After he transfers to Sakura Jousui Junior High, he ﬁnally gets a chance to shine. With his new teammates’ support and determination to play the game, Shou begins to develop skills with hard work. As he gets better at soccer, he realizes he is getting closer to his dream of becoming a professional soccer player.
Whistle! received positive reviews from viewers and fans of sports anime. The series is well-regarded for its focus on character development, realistic portrayal of soccer matches, and its ability to evoke emotions through the challenges and triumphs of the main character, Shou.
8. Inazuma Eleven
The follows Mamoru Endou, a young and talented goalkeeper with a strong passion for soccer. His journey begins when the Raimon soccer club faces disbandment due to their poor performance and lack of members. However, Endou refuses to give up and decides to recruit new players to rebuild the team.
Throughout the anime, Endou and the Raimon team face numerous challenges, both on and off the soccer pitch. They participate in tournaments, compete against strong opponents, and strive to improve their skills to achieve their ultimate goal: winning the Football Frontier, a prestigious soccer tournament for junior high schools.
The anime’s unique approach, combining soccer with superpowers and special moves, sets it apart from traditional sports anime. This blend of sports and fantasy elements has attracted a diverse fanbase and made Inazuma Eleven a standout series in the sports genre.
7. Captain Tsubasa (2018)
The story of follows the young and talented soccer prodigy, Tsubasa Oozora. From a very young age, Tsubasa has had a burning passion for soccer and dreams of becoming a top soccer player in the world. He is determined to lead his team to victory and win the prestigious FIFA World Cup.
Tsubasa’s journey begins when he moves to a new town and joins the Nankatsu Elementary School soccer team. There, he forms deep bonds with his teammates and experiences various challenges on the soccer field.
Captain Tsubasa (2018) continues the legacy of the franchise, delivering an exhilarating soccer experience filled with intense matches, heartfelt moments, and the timeless message of never giving up on one’s dreams. Whether you are a longtime fan of the series or new to the world of Captain Tsubasa, the 2018 anime is a worthy addition to the iconic soccer anime franchise.
6. Giant Killing
Giant Killing centers around East Tokyo United (ETU), a struggling professional soccer team that is experiencing a long period of poor performance. The team’s fans have become disillusioned, and the club is facing financial difficulties.
To turn things around, ETU hires a new coach named Tatsumi Takeshi, who is renowned for his unorthodox coaching methods and tactical brilliance. Tatsumi is a former player and has experience as a coach overseas.
Tatsumi’s unconventional approach and ability to motivate the players push them to new heights. The series not only showcases the on-field action but also highlights the mental and emotional aspects of the game, including the pressure faced by both players and coaches.
5. The Knight in the Area
At number five of our list of popular soccer anime is The Knight in the Area, following the story of Kakeru Aizawa, a talented young soccer player who used to play alongside his older brother, Suguru Aizawa. Tragedy strikes when Suguru dies in a tragic accident while saving Kakeru from an oncoming truck. Feeling responsible for his brother’s death, Kakeru loses his passion for soccer and abandons the sport.
Years later, Kakeru is a high school student and no longer has any interest in playing soccer. However, his passion for the game is reignited when he is scouted by the prestigious Enoshima High School soccer team. Encouraged by the team’s captain, Araki Ryuuichi, and motivated by the memory of his brother, Kakeru decides to return to the field.
While The Knight in the Area may not be as widely recognized as some other sports anime series, it remains a decent choice for those looking for a soccer-themed anime with a mix of drama and sports action. If you enjoy anime with emotional depth and themes of perseverance, friendship, and self-discovery, The Knight in the Area might be worth giving a try.
|Title||Area no Kishi|
4. Hungry Heart: Wild Striker
Hungry Heart: Wild Striker follows the story of Kyousuke, who is expected to become a world-class professional player just because his older brother is a soccer genius and has won multiple times nationally. But these were just expectations Kyosuke wasn’t able to meet. He miserably fails to get ahead and falls behind his brother’s shadow.
After entering his freshman year at Jouyou Akanegaoka High School, Kyosuke vows never to touch the ball again. However, he is forced to play once again by Miki Tsujiwaki, the captain of the girl’s soccer club, and Mori Kazuto, the boy’s soccer club’s manager. They see his potential, and no matter what, they convince Kyosuke to play again.
Now that he has the chance to restart, what will he do? Play with passion or let things slip out of his hand once again. Watch the anime to ﬁnd out.
Hungry Heart: Wild Striker’s portrayal of the challenges faced by young athletes striving to pursue their passion for soccer and the importance of personal growth resonated with viewers. It remains a beloved series for those who enjoy sports anime, particularly soccer-themed ones.
|Genre||Comedy, Slice of Life, Sports|
3. Days (TV)
Days follows the story of Tsukushi Tsukamoto, a high school student who lacks confidence and seems to have no particular talent. One day, he encounters Jin Kazama, a skilled and charismatic soccer player. Inspired by Jin’s passion for the sport, Tsukushi decides to join the Seiseki High School soccer team.
Despite his lack of experience and skills, Tsukushi’s unwavering determination and eagerness to learn catch the attention of the team’s captain, Hisahito Mizuki. With the support and encouragement of his teammates, Tsukushi begins his journey to become a better soccer player.
Days is a heartwarming soccer anime that showcases the determination and growth of its characters as they pursue their dreams and love for soccer. If you enjoy sports anime with themes of friendship and personal development, I think Days might be a great addition to your watchlist.
2. Blue Lock
Blue Lock centers around the concept of a specialized soccer training program called “Blue Lock.” In this program, 300 of Japan’s most talented young strikers are selected to compete and undergo intense training with the goal of finding the ultimate striker who can lead the Japanese national team to victory in the upcoming World Cup.
The protagonist, Yoichi Isagi, is a young and talented soccer player who dreams of becoming a national team player. He is invited to participate in the Blue Lock program along with other promising strikers, each with their unique playing styles and personalities. However, they must put aside their individual ambitions and work together to become a cohesive and unstoppable force.
Blue Lock gained popularity for its fresh and unique take on the sports genre, focusing on the position of striker in soccer and the psychological battles between players vying for the coveted spot on the national team.
1. Ao Ashi
And last but not least on our list of the top 20 most popular soccer anime of all time is Ao Ashi. Ashito Aoi is a young boy from Ehime Prefecture who dreams of playing professional football. He is scouted by a scout from Tokyo City Esperion FC and is invited to join their youth team. Ashito faces many challenges as he tries to make the cut for the Esperion first team, but he is determined to achieve his dream of becoming a professional footballer.
Ashito is a talented footballer, but he is also hot-headed and impulsive. He often makes rash decisions on the field, which can lead to mistakes. However, Ashito is also a quick learner, and he is always willing to put in the hard work to improve his skills.
Ao Ashi delves into the personal journey of Ashito as he navigates the world of competitive soccer and the importance of teamwork. The anime explores themes of self-discovery, passion for the sport, and the desire to find one’s own path in the world of soccer.
The series is known for its realistic portrayal of soccer, character development, and emphasis on the mental aspects of the sport, making it an engaging and immersive watch for soccer anime enthusiasts.
Yuuto-kun ga Iku
Akakichi no Eleven
Soccer anime has undoubtedly left a significant impact on the world of animation and sports enthusiasts alike. The genre’s ability to intertwine the drama of personal growth with the excitement of soccer matches has captivated audiences for decades. From the classic Captain Tsubasa to the heartwarming Days, these top 20 popular soccer anime series have proven that sports anime has a universal appeal that resonates with viewers around the globe. Whether you are a die-hard soccer fan or simply seeking an enthralling story, these anime titles are sure to score a goal in your heart. So, grab your popcorn and immerse yourself in the exhilarating world of soccer anime! So that’s our list; what do you think, and what are your suggestions?