Best 10 Football Anime for Football Fans

For most people, football may be just a sport, but for some, it is a religion. Hardcore football fans are passionate about the game and enjoy it. However, football anime is like heaven’s greatest gift for fans of both football and anime. People like me enjoy watching a good soccer anime whenever I get a chance. These anime uniquely shows us the sport we love with our hearts.

So, I took the task of listing 10 of the best football anime for all football fans. I hope you enjoy the list.

Best Football Anime List

Whether you like anime or football or both, I can assure you that, you will find these anime shows to your liking.

1. Whistle (2002)

  • Mal rating: 7.39
  • Number of episodes: 39.
  • Source: Manga.
  • Studio: Studio Commet.

Whistle (2002)Let us start our list with the #1 football anime series- Whistle. It is about a boy’s love for the sport and his determination to get better at it. The show features many moments that will make your heart pump faster or skip a beat. The protagonist and other characters of The Whistle make the show an enjoyable experience.

The anime was adapted from the Manga of the same name into a 39-episode anime TV series. The life of a middle school boy football enthusiast is the main focus of the anime.


Shō Kazamatsuri is the main character in the middle school drama Whistle! Since he was too small to play football at his former school, he transferred from Musashinomori to Sakura Jsui Junior High to improve his chances of making the squad. His classmates wrongly cheer him on when his teacher, Yko Katori, introduces him as a former star of the prestigious Musashinomori squad. One of the players, Tatsuya Mizuno, instantly asserts that he was never a regular. To put it another way, Kazamatsuri is a lousy player because he never had the chance to play. 

Shō ignores the substantial disadvantage and works to improve his skills to join the team at his new school.

2. Hungry Heart Wild Striker (2002)

  • Mal rating: 7.55.
  • Number of episodes: 52.
  • Source: Manga.
  • Studio: Nippon Animation.

Hungry Heart Wild Striker (2002)This is your average soccer anime where the protagonist is continuously compared to his successful older brother. However, the anime offers twists and surprise moments throughout the series. We come across a teenage boy and his struggles. You can relate to the characters and enjoy every moment of Hungry Heart Wild Striker.


The show focuses on Kano Kyosuke, a young high school student who has just transferred to Jyoyo Orange High School at the start of the series. The famed and incredibly well-known A.C. is Kyosuke’s older brother. 

He initially learned how to play the game from Milan soccer player Kano Seisuke, whom he has passionately idolized since he was a young boy. Following Seisuke’s departure from Japan to join Italian powerhouse A.C. Milan, because of Kyosuke’s distinctive playing style, many began to compare him to his brother and criticize him. 

Dwelling in his brother’s shadow caused Kyosuke’s enthusiasm for the game to wane and gradually disappear. Kyosuke’s intense love and enthusiasm for soccer return to their maximum following his relocation to Jyoyo and a serendipitous encounter with Tsujiwaki Miki, an eager girl with a great passion for football which immediately rekindles his desire for the sport with her drive to succeed.

 3. Giant Killing (2010)

  • Mal rating: 7.54.
  • Number of episodes: 26.
  • Source: Manga.
  • Studio: Studio Den.

Giant Killing (2010) football animeGiant Killing is a story of an unbeatable soccer anime. The team captain took it to new heights and brought enormous success. This football-themed anime shows us what happens when you depend on a single person in a team sport. The anime is filled with emotions and touching moments. The characters are placed perfectly in the anime and bring key performances necessary for the series. However, the anime losses its potential after the first five or six episodes; it is a great football anime to watch.


East Tokyo United (ETU) has struggled to compete in Japan’s top soccer league for the past few years. For the chance to avoid being demoted, they have given their all. Even worse, the team’s spirit has never been lower due to its current five-game losing run. There are rumblings that the local government may stop supporting them, and even their followers are beginning to turn against them. 

It is a downhill spiral for ETU, with numerous coaches being sacked and poor financial decisions being made when hiring players. The board of directors decides to take a chance and hire the somewhat eccentric Takeshi Tatsumi as a new coach under pressure from general manager Kousei Gotou. Tatsumi was formerly considered a terrific soccer player, but he departed ETU years ago. But ever since, he has been successful in his position as manager of an amateur team in England’s lower tier. Tatsumi will struggle since ETU supporters consider him a traitor, and the team is up against rivals with better players and more resources. Tatsumi claims he is an expert at taking down giants, yet he may beat even a goliath.

4. Eyeshield 21 (2005)

  • Mal rating: 7.92
  • Number of episodes: 145.
  • Source: Manga.
  • Studio: Gallop.

Eyeshield 21 (2005)Eyeshield 21 is an outstanding, fun-to-watch soccer anime TV series. The show offers the audience a great insider of a short, shy, highly talented soccer player’s daily life. The show covers all the rules and pointers of a football game and allows us to enjoy a great time. From the beginning to the 145th episode, Eyeshield 21 is worth watching.

Surprisingly Eyeshield 21 was an actual person who dominated the football field. He was a Japanese player who played for an American school team.


Sena Kobayakawa, a student at Deimon High School, is the ideal victim of bullies since he is quiet, reserved, and short-built. Sena, however, has become agile and mastered the art of dodging crowds due to errands throughout his life. Sena’s short legs sent the shrewd Youichi Hiruma, captain of the Deimon Devil Bats football team, into action, forcing the frightened boy to join his side.

Sena is compelled to hide under the helmet of “Eyeshield 21,” an enigmatic running back wearing the number 21 jersey because Hiruma wishes to keep Sena’s identity secret from other clubs. During his time at Notre Dame College, the fabled Eyeshield 21 performed terrific accomplishments in the United States and is said to be able to run at the speed of light.

Sena has a reputation for avoiding danger. Therefore, his skill set might make him the next secret weapon of the Deimon Devil Bats. Through conversations with his coworkers, Sena gradually increases his sense of self-worth and forges enduring bonds.

5. Days (2016)

  • Mal rating: 7.16.
  • Number of episodes: 24.
  • Source: Manga.
  • Studio: MAPPA.

Days (2016) football animeDays is a 24-episode football drama from MAPPA studios. Though the series does not have a lot of materials worth mentioning, it is a wholesome TV show. It is excellent and fun to watch if you like football and slice of life anime genre. The show is based on the Manga written and illustrated by Tsuyoshi Yasuda. There is no question about the quality and animation of Days as the show is produced by studio MAPPA. The music and background scores are pretty good, and overall, the show is easy to pick up as it is easy to put down.


Freshman Tsukushi Tsukamoto attends Seiseki High School. The football team at that school is renowned. Tsukamoto decides to join the school’s football squad after meeting Jin Kazama and playing a game with him. He is exceptionally awful at football because he has never played before. He nevertheless makes an effort to be a valuable team member and disprove the critics of his abilities.

6. Inazuma Eleven (2008-2011)

  • Mal rating: 7.66
  • Number of episodes: 127
  • Source: Sports.
  • Studio: OLM

Inazuma Eleven (2008-2011)Inazuma Eleven is one of the best long-running soccer anime. The show started as a sports anime game and soon became a highly appreciated anime TV show. Inazuma Eleven has excellent animation, an inspiring story, and great music. Unlike other sports anime, Inazuma Eleven also covers the game’s basics. It is an anime worth watching.


Raimon Middle School’s soccer team, Inazuma Eleven, was on the verge of dissolving, and now the school and other schools in Japan are competing to be Japan’s best football team. Inazuma Eleven’s club captain and grandson of a first-generation goalkeeper, Mamoru Endou, accepts the challenge of bringing the once-thriving organization back to life. To accomplish this, he will require some assistance and a lot of luck.

Mamoru Endou receives encouragement from talented young player Shuuya Gouenji, who has given up playing soccer. To get Shuuya and the other newcomers to join his team, Mamoru will stop at nothing. Is it possible for the struggling club to be revived with his zeal and tenacity?

7. Area no Kishi (2012)

  • MAL Rating: 7.35
  • Number of Episodes: 37
  • Source: Manga
  • Studio: Shin-Ei Animation

Area no Kishi (2012) football anime“Area no Kishi” is an engaging football anime that follows the journey of Kakeru Aizawa, a young player striving to overcome challenges and become a top footballer. This series combines the excitement of on-field action with personal growth and interpersonal relationships, making it a compelling watch for football fans.

The anime is adapted from the manga of the same name, and it spans 37 episodes, taking viewers on a ride through the ups and downs of Kakeru’s football career.


Kakeru Aizawa, once a prodigious talent on the football field, faces a traumatic experience that shatters his confidence. His life takes a turn when he becomes a manager for his school’s football team. As Kakeru navigates the complexities of both managing and playing, he embarks on a journey of redemption, aiming to fulfill his brother’s dream of becoming a professional football player. “Area no Kishi” is a story of perseverance, teamwork, and the relentless pursuit of success in the world of football.

8. Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun (2017)

  • MAL Rating: 7.10
  • Number of Episodes: 12
  • Source: Manga
  • Studio: Studio Hibari

Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun (2017)“Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun” is a unique football anime that blends sports with comedy and a quirky twist. The series revolves around Aoyama-kun, an eccentric and germophobic football genius who brings a fresh perspective to the football field.

Adapted from the manga, this anime consists of 12 episodes, providing a lighthearted and comical take on the world of soccer.


Ryoma Aoyama, better known as “Aoyama-kun,” is an exceptionally talented football player who has a few eccentricities. His obsession with cleanliness and aversion to dirt and germs are well-known. Despite his peculiar habits, Aoyama is a force to be reckoned with on the football field. The anime explores his adventures as he joins a new team and showcases his unmatched skills and his quirky approach to the game. “Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun” offers a fresh and humorous take on the world of football, featuring a character unlike any other in the sports anime genre.

9. Captain Tsubasa (2018-2019)

  • MAL Rating: 7.84
  • Number of Episodes: Varies by series
  • Source: Manga
  • Studio: Multiple studios, including Tsuchida Productions and David Production.

Captain Tsubasa (2018-2019) football anime“Captain Tsubasa” is a legendary football anime that has captured the hearts of fans for decades. It follows the journey of Tsubasa Ozora, a young and incredibly talented football prodigy, as he pursues his dreams in the world of soccer. With its thrilling matches, intense rivalry, and a focus on teamwork and sportsmanship, “Captain Tsubasa” is an anime that continues to inspire both old and new generations of football enthusiasts.

The anime has been adapted from the original manga into several series and seasons, so the number of episodes varies. These adaptations cover different parts of Tsubasa’s football career and adventures.

In a world of football anime, “Captain Tsubasa” stands as a timeless classic that showcases the power of determination, skill, and teamwork in the beautiful game of soccer.

10. Ganbare! Kickers (1986)

  • MAL Rating: 7.15
  • Number of Episodes: 26
  • Source: Manga
  • Studio: Toei Animation

Ganbare! Kickers (1986) football anime“Ganbare! Kickers” is a vintage football anime that takes viewers back in time with its classic charm. This series centers on youth soccer and the determination of young players as they strive to excel in the sport.

Adapted from the manga, “Ganbare! Kickers” consists of 26 episodes, offering a nostalgic look at the world of football in its earlier anime adaptations.


The anime follows the story of Kakeru Daichi, a young boy with a passion for soccer. Despite facing challenges and obstacles, Kakeru remains dedicated to the sport and dreams of becoming a professional soccer player. “Ganbare! Kickers” is a heartwarming journey that celebrates the spirit of youth, friendship, and the pursuit of dreams through the lens of soccer. With its nostalgic appeal, this classic anime is a must-watch for fans of both football and vintage anime.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the world of football anime offers a diverse and exciting range of series that cater to the cravings of football fans. From classics like “Captain Tsubasa” that continue to inspire generations to unique offerings like “Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun” with its quirky humor, there’s something for everyone. These anime not only showcase the beauty of the sport but also explore themes of dedication, teamwork, and personal growth.

Whether you’re looking for intense matches, underdog stories, or a comedic twist on the game, the top 10 football anime on this list, including “Whistle,” “Area no Kishi,” and “Ganbare! Kickers,” are sure to provide a football-filled experience that will keep you entertained and motivated. So, grab your favorite jersey, kick back, and dive into the world of football through the lens of these remarkable anime series.

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