15 Best Soccer and Football Anime You Should Watch Right Now

What is the first thing that pops up in your mind; when you hear the word football?

That it is a team sport, right? But, depending on the country, football implies different team sports.

While some might recognize this sport as football, some might identify it as soccer because of American football. But that doesn’t change the fact that football is one of the most popular team sports globally, if not the most popular.

From breathtaking dribbles and passes to stunning goals, this high-impact sport takes you through a roller coaster of emotions. Be it the joy, the rage, the happy tears, the disappointment, or the crippling anxiety during the match-deciding penalty shoot-outs – you will experience every emotion while watching football.

And for the football enthusiasts who want to experience a similar plethora of emotions through anime, I have created this list of football anime. These anime not only showcase the intense matches; but also highlights the psychological aspect, the behind-the-scenes, the perspective of the players, the coaches, and so much more.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the 15 best football anime.

Football Anime About Self Discovery

#15 Offside (TV)

#15 Offside (TV) - Best Soccer/Football Anime

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 39
Studio: Ashi Productions

Yokonan High School is well-known for its prestigious football club. Goro Kumagaya is a middle school goalkeeper who wanted to enroll in Yokonan but unfortunately enrolled in a not-so-reputed Kawasaki High School.

After enrolling, Goro found skilled football players, with whom the football team of Kawasaki High embarks on a journey to become the champion by challenging the football powerhouse Yokonan among other formidable football teams.

Be it a failure or a success, with each match, the Kawasaki High football club assesses its weakness and works on them. Meanwhile, Goro soon discovers that although being a goalkeeper his whole life, he has the natural talent of a striker.

Why We Recommend:

Offside is a 90s football anime for the ones who have lost hope. Just like the character who lost hope and had everything go against his wishes, he found a place where he could grow as a football player.

Not to mention that he discovered his natural talent, which would have remained undiscovered if not for the obstacles he had overcome.

Football Anime About Women’s Football

#14 Farewell, My Dear Cramer

#14 Farewell, My Dear Cramer - Best Soccer/Football Anime

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 13

In middle school, Nozomi Onda used to play with the boys’ football team. She has the skills of a prodigy but doesn’t want to play in a girls’ team. She doesn’t want her skills to get wasted.

However, her coach motivates her to join the girls’ soccer team upon enrolling in high school. Knowing the skills she has developed throughout the years, Nozomi’s coach asks her to bring women’s football back into the spotlight.

On the other hand, Sumire Suou is a lone wolf who never gets to show her true potential because of her average-skilled teammates. Not wanting to let Sumire’s talent to waste, her rival – Midori Soshizaki – asks Sumire to join a football club with her.

And thus, these three individuals come across each other in Warabi Seinan High School’s not-so-renowned football club, where the coach is known for lazing around.

How far will these girls go? Only time will tell.

Why We Recommend:

While some anime are for pure entertainment, some deliver a strong message; Farewell, My Dear Cramer is the latter.

Focusing on the declining popularity and increasing inequality of this women’s sport, this football anime follows the journey of three girls who play football not only for the love of it but to bring back the lost glory of women’s football.

Football Anime With OP MC

#13 Fight! Kickers

#13 Fight! Kickers - Best Soccer/Football Anime

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 23
Studio: Pierrot

Kickers have just lost a match by a SMALL margin, 0 – 21.

The players of the team have no interest in getting better. Instead of practicing, some read manga, some play video games, some enjoy snacks, and others enjoy music with earphones on.

The Kickers play for the sake of representing their school, nothing more.

But, when Kakeru Daichi enrolls in the school, he motivates the whole team to get serious about the game of football while provoking their strongest opponent from the get-go.

Kakeru’s passion for football has fortunately infected the whole team, but will it be enough for the Kickers to become good at football?

Why We Recommend:

Who doesn’t love a well-written comeback story?

If you are into no-brainer entertainment, sitting back, relaxing, and having a good laugh, this football anime is here to do that. Fight! Kickers, just like Captain Tsubasa, have the 80s aesthetic. This football anime will give you a nice break from modern-day football animation.

#12 Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun

#12 Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun - Best Soccer/Football Anime

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 12
Studio: Studio Hibari

Aoyama is a football prodigy. Although he has germophobia (mysophobia), he plays a sport where staying clean isn’t an option.

However, he has found ways around that – he wears gloves during thrown-ins and avoids tackling or heading the ball. He is known as a football nerd who cleans the balls after practice.

Surprisingly, avoiding crowds should’ve become a weakness in a sport like football, but Aoyama uses that to dodge the players and score a goal all by himself. That is how he turned his shortcomings into his strengths.

But, when it comes to winning games, he is ready to get dirt all over him; because he hates losing the most.

Why We Recommend:

Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun has made it onto the list because of its unique identity among other football anime. This anime not only has soccer but also stands for those who aren’t proud of themselves and asks them to embrace them for who they are.

Turning your weakness into your strength is what this football anime depicts. And, if you love gag humor then look no further, Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun has got you covered.

#11 Captain Tsubasa (2018)

#11 Captain Tsubasa - Best Soccer/Football Anime

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 52
Studio: David Production

Tsubasa Oozora knows only one language, which is football. He eats, sleeps, and breathes football. Ask him anything about football, and he will answer your question.

Tsubasa has been in love with the sport for as long as he can remember. At the mere age of 11 – when other kids play football for fun – Tsubasa has already made up his mind about representing Japan in the Football World Cup.

To achieve that, he moves to Nankatsu city with his mother. Nankatsu city is renowned for its excellent football teams.

In Nankatsu city, Tsubasa comes across players who motivate him to work harder and push him toward his goal of representing Japan in the FIFA World Cup.

Why We Recommend:

Do you love a sports anime where the protagonist is a prodigy and stuns the opponents during the matches while climbing the ranks?

If that satisfies you, look no further because Captain Tsubasa ticks that checklist. Besides that, it has good drama and intense matches, and it’s a classic that will make you fall in love with football even more.

NOTE: If you love to watch an anime where the story is fleshed out, you should watch the 1983 version of Captain Tsubasa.

Number of seasons: 4
Number of episodes: 240
Studio: Tsuchida Productions, Nippon Animation, Studio Comet, Group TAC

Football Anime With Romance

#10 Blue Legend Shoot!

#10 Blue Legend Shoot! - Best Soccer/Football Anime

Number of seasons: 2
Number of episodes: 71
Studio: Toei Animation, Magic Bus, EMT Squared

Toshihiko Tanaka gets bewitched by the performance of Yoshiharu Kubo, who led Kakegawa High School to an unexpected victory in a soccer tournament.

To become a soccer player like him, Tanaka enrolls in the same high school, but alas, Kubo is on leave due to his illness. In this school, a freshman isn’t allowed to use the field or play as a regular; menial jobs are all they can do.

And, if that wasn’t enough, Tanaka’s childhood friends – Kenji Shiraishi and Kazuhiro Hiramatsu, enrolled in the same high school, but each went their separate ways.

The trio was known for their coordinated attacking plays during their junior-high-school days. Sadly, both stopped playing soccer after Kenji got involved in a gang fight and Kazuhiro was preparing to succeed his father as a doctor.

However, Kazumi Endo, who loved the trio’s soccer play since childhood, made sure to reignite that long-lost passion for soccer in the trio by challenging the sophomores on the freshman’s behalf.

Can Kazumi reunite the trio to stand up to that challenge?

Why We Recommend:

Firstly, the unique aspect of Blue Legend Shoot is that it has a pronounced romance element besides being a football anime.

So, if you were searching for an anime with romance and sports as the main genres, you are lucky. Blue Legend Shoot is the rarest of the anime, where these two genres go together very well.

Secondly, the story progression, character development, and the 90s animation make Blue Legend Shoot a must-watch football anime.

Football Anime With Underdogs

#9 Days

#9 Days - Best Soccer/Football Anime

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 24
Studio: MAPPA

Tsukushi Tsukamoto and Jin Kazama’s encounter is what you call fate. Jin Kazama is a prodigious football player – who found Jin to be one of the kindest souls in the high school crowd.

On the same day, Jin needed an extra player for a casual futsal match; and he asked Tsukushi to join. Although it’s their first time interacting with each other, Tsukushi joins without any hesitation.

As a timid boy, Tsukushi hardly had any friends, so he followed Jin’s footsteps into the soccer team, but the reality was harsher than he expected. He passed out immediately during the drills.

However, he never gave up and continued running since then, and soon his unyielding attitude infected the whole team.

As Mizuki – the captain of Seiseki High’s Soccer Team – mentioned, Tsukushi is that exceptional idiot who will soon become the captain because of his dedication to football.

Why We Recommend:

Days is not your cup of tea if you are looking for intense matches filled with adrenaline-rushing plays.

Instead, this football anime focuses more on character development, the daily life of an absolute beginner who grows from being the most looked down upon to someone who is respected regardless of his football skills.

A character drama at heart, Days might become a comfort anime, depending on what you look for in a sports anime.

#8 Victory Kickoff!!

#8 Victory Kickoff!! - Best Soccer/Football Anime

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 39
Studio: TYO Animations

Momoyama Predators disbanded after the players got into a fight with the coach. Following this incident, the players began to leave the team one after the other, and soon only Shou Oota remained, resulting in the team’s disbandment.

However, Shou is hellbent on reviving the football team and comes across Erika Takato, a new transfer student with eye-catching football skills. Not only that, even her dog is strong enough in football to defeat Shou one-on-one.

Not even joking.

Although Shou’s football skills are worse than Erika’s dog, his vision is impressive, but he needs practice to master it. Everything seemed hopeless until a sudden encounter with a Japanese women’s football team player.

What awaits Shou in the future? Can he build the team around Erika?

Why We Recommend:

Victory Kickoff is probably one of the most underrated football anime. Because of how real it gets to portraying a below-average joe and highlighting the gender discrimination and underappreciation for women’s football, this football anime becomes an easy recommendation.

And amidst these, the anime will find a way to make you laugh most of the time, and that’s why you should watch this. Victory Kickoff is for those who love inspiring, uplifting, and gentle tones in a story that delivers a strong message.

#7 Whistle!

#7 Whistle! - Best Soccer/Football Anime

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 39
Studio: Studio Comet

Shou Kazamatsuri has loved football since childhood and wants to become a professional football player. To achieve that, he has worked hard to enroll in football powerhouse – Musashi no Mori Junior High. But, he was denied a place in the team for his short stature, tasked only with menial jobs.

Being the fighter he is, Shou decides to transfer to Sakura Jousui Junior High, a school where he can play the sport without any obstruction. But, staying in the third-string team meant he didn’t develop enough skills and only expertise in juggling the football.

However, that didn’t stop our average joe from giving up. Instead, his passion for football reignites after he gets reminded of his love for the team sport.

But is that enough to become a professional football player?

Why We Recommend:

Not many football anime have an average joe as the protagonist. Either the protagonists are prodigies from the get-go, or they are yet to discover that they are prodigies.

Whistle represents those who were not born a prodigy. This anime shows that even if you’re not a prodigy, the will to become a better version of yourself will open up a path.

Whistle is a highly recommended football anime for those who love a more realistic approach to sports anime. Who doesn’t enjoy watching an underdog having the best moments of his life?

#6 Giant Killing

#6 Giant Killing - Best Soccer/Football Anime

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 26
Studio: Studio Deen

An amateur team composed of a baker, police officer, cook, pastor, and taxi driver, has been taking down professional football clubs in England’s FA Cup. The reason behind this miracle is Takeshi Tatsumi, who is known for Giant Killing.

In Japan, everything was going west for East Tokyo United (ETU). Not only were they losing local fans, but their only sponsor had threatened to withdraw their support. The morale of the football team was at an all-time low.

To reignite the fading passion and bring back the glory it had, team manager Kousei Gotou brought Takeshi Tatsumi – the Giant Killer – back to his former club, but this time as the coach.

Upon his arrival, he gets called out as a traitor for leaving the ETU abruptly years ago. Amidst this chaos, Takeshi is hellbent on reconstructing the team from ground zero, welcoming another wave of criticism.

But, to the Giant Killer, it’s only the first step to bringing down the big dogs.

Why We Recommend:

You might have watched several sports anime through the eyes of an aspiring football player in his middle/high school phase, but Giant Killing depicts the story through the eyes of a football coach – who used to be a former star player of a club.

Being a seinen sports anime, Giant Killing shows that the sport of football is humbling; and highlights the cliché of ‘nobody is guaranteed to win’ through solid storytelling.

Football Anime With Budding Prodigy

#5 The Knight in the Area

#5 The Knight in the Area - Best Soccer/Football Anime

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 37
Studio: Shin-Ei Animation

In elementary school, during a practice match, Kakeru’s left kick severely injured a regular. Since then, Kakeru hasn’t been able to use his left foot. Even if he wants to, his instincts stop him from doing so.

Growing up, Kakeru and his elder brother Suguru loved playing football. Since then, Kakeru has stopped growing as a player and has switched his role to a manager, while Suguru has become a star player in the Japanese youth football team.

Unfortunately, when a tragedy hits, Kakeru finds himself chasing the dream of representing Japan in the world cup. And to achieve that dream, he gets support from his childhood friend Nana, a prodigy who is already part of the Japanese women’s national football team.

Why We Recommend:

The Knight in the Area is an emotional roller coaster ride. This football anime is for those who fear taking the next step, for those who stop themselves from realizing their true potential.

This anime is quite realistic with its approach to the game of football, but to give it that extra flair, it does have exaggerated movements and plays. However, that doesn’t take anything away from the fact that The Knight in the Area is a football anime that balances and showcases life in and outside the field very well.

It doesn’t pull punches from the dramatization of the characters’ circumstances.

#4 Hungry Heart: Wild Striker

#4 Hungry Heart Wild Striker - Best Soccer/Football Anime

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 52
Studio: Nippon Animation

Not only is Kyousuke Kanou an orange head, but he is also hot-headed.

Being the younger brother of Seisuke Kanou – the Japanese soccer star – has burdened Kyousuke with expectations so much that he has grown to hate the sport. At least what he says.

Deep inside, he still loves soccer.

Although he promised not to play soccer after enrolling in high school, Kyousuke’s talent gets spotted by Miki Tsujiwaki, captain of the girls’ soccer team and the manager of the boys’ soccer team, Mori Kazuto, during an incident.

Although for different reasons, they are hellbent on Kyousuke returning to the sport.

Will Kyousuke give in to their persistence and play soccer once again? Or will he resist his love for soccer and continue his life as it is?

Why We Recommend:

Hungry Heart: Wild Striker is a tale about two brothers; one who exceeded expectations and the other who got bulldozed by the expectations.

Besides being a brotherly tale, the title perfectly summarizes the story and the theme of the football anime. Although it doesn’t showcase anything exceptional, it isn’t your average run-of-the-mill football anime.

Because of the humane aspect, it flaunts as a sports anime, Hungry Heart: Wild Striker – not only becomes a highly recommended football anime, but as an anime, it excels in most of the departments as well.

#3 Ao Ashi

#3 Ao Ashi - Best Soccer/Football Anime

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 24
Studio: Production I.G

Ashito Aoi is the only hope for the football club, which centers around him for his scoring ability. However, when provoked during the preliminaries of the Ehime Junior High tournament, Ashito headbutts the opposition goalkeeper. Not only was he removed from the entire match, but it also cost his team an important match.

Although Ashito was disappointed about the consequences of his actions, soon he was approached by Tatsuya Fukuda, the coach of Tokyo City Esperion FC, one of the most elite clubs in the J-League. Before he knew it, he got invited to the trials in Tokyo. There, Ashito realizes that football is more competitive than he had imagined.

Can Ashito find a place in the Youth Team of the prestigious club, where other fine players from different prefectures are aiming and raring to get in?

Why We Recommend:

Ao Ashi is highly-recommended because of how grounded it is in reality. Although Ashito has endless potential as a playmaker due to his spatial awareness and vision on the field, his growth as a football player – through the ups and downs – makes the journey to the top more believable and rewarding throughout the series.

Ao Ashi’s strength is in immersing viewers with no knowledge about football with its thorough breakdowns during each match.

Football Anime With Superpowers

#2 Inazuma Eleven

#2 Inazuma Eleven - Best Soccer/Football Anime

Number of seasons: 4
Number of episodes: 268
Studio: OLM

Mamoru Endou is the captain and goalkeeper of Raimon Middle School’s soccer(football) club, Inazuma Eleven. However, because of having only seven members, the club is looked down upon by the whole school and never gets the field to practice.

Due to a lack of members and no ground to practice, every club member has lost interest in the sport. Instead, it has become a pastime club.

But when the soccer club gets rumored to disband, and a challenge to play against the strongest team in the nation appears, Mamoru takes it upon himself to not only find new members for the club but also build a team strong enough to face the challenge.

Although he encounters a football prodigy in Shuuya Gouenji, it seems the prodigy himself has given up on soccer.

Can Mamoru make Shuuya play for Inazuma Eleven, or will the team lose the match and the club?

Why We Recommend:

If you want to watch a football anime without complexities, a football anime that is so ridiculous that it’s fun to watch, then Inazuma Eleven is the one for you.

Leaving aside the psychological and technical aspects of the sport of football, Inazuma Eleven asks you to sit back, relax and have fun watching the anime.

Although Inazuma Eleven is for a much younger audience, it becomes an easy recommendation for anyone for its high entertainment value.

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#1 Blue Lock

#1 Blue Lock - Best Soccer/Football Anime

Number of seasons: 1
Number of episodes: 24
Studio: 8bit

To pass or not to pass? That’s the dilemma Isagi was going through during the crucial moment of a match that could have taken his high school football team to the nationals.

Well, it didn’t happen. Isagi passed the ball instead of taking the shot himself.

After having a breakdown, in the middle of the street, Isagi reaches home to find out about the invitation from Japan Football Union. After going there, Isagi discovers that 300 players will participate in a project called Blue Lock.

The goal is to turn one of these diamonds in the rough into the best striker in the world, who can score goals irrespective of the situation.

And the one who leads the project is Jinpachi Ego, the man hired to build a Japanese team to win the world cup. As his name suggests, Jinpachi is a man on a mission and a true egoist.

Why We Recommend:

When Blue Lock came to the scene, there were questions and mockery surrounding the story, but with time, this football anime quickly became one of the modern-day hits in the sports anime genre.

From the breakdown of the skills and the techniques, the ins and outs of the sport, the psychological aspect, the strong cast of characters, and the progression of the story to the hyper-intense matches, Blue Lock has endless positives to cover up any negatives that it has.

So, if you are looking for entertainment, intensity, an impressive cast of characters, and engaging football anime, Blue Lock is undoubtedly the best choice for you.

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All Soccer/Football Anime Recommendations

Here is the table of the best soccer/football anime, along with some honorable mentions that didn’t make it onto the list but are worth considering.

And, for the indecisive ones like me, you can use the AverageBeing Picks for a better idea of where to start after diving into soccer/football anime.

AnimeEpisodesSeasonsAverageBeing Picks
Blue Lock241Above Average
Inazuma Eleven2684Average
Ao Ashi241Above Average
Hungry Heart: Wild Striker521Above Average
The Knight in the Area371Average
Giant Killing261Above Average
Victory Kickoff!!391Average
Blue Legend Shoot!712Average
Captain Tsubasa521Average
Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun121Below Average
Fight! Kickers231Average
Farewell, My Dear Cramer131Below Average
Offside (TV)391Below Average
Moero! Top Striker491Below Average
Goal Field Hunter391Below Average
Akakichi no Eleven521Below Average
 Free Kick Toward Tomorrow521Below Average
Soccer Fever511Below Average

With that, I present to you the best soccer anime. Among the short catalog of football anime, the above-listed ones are the best in terms of quality and variety of storylines.

These football anime not only inspire and entertain you, but they also make you laugh and cheer for the characters. These anime can even hype you up to the point where you will unknowingly stand up and start screaming at the top of your lungs, just like in a football stadium.

That said, I hope you find this list helpful and add a couple of these anime to your watchlist and enjoy watching them at your convenience. If you have any feedback, suggestion, or correction regarding the article, feel free to reach out to averagebeing.com ‘s Instagram handle.