- European and Latin-American Dub Name Change: Oliver Atton (aka Oliver Atom/Oliver "Holly" Hutton/Olivier Atton)
The protagonist of the story, his dream is to one day win the World Cup for Japan. As a Child Prodigy, he was captain of his school Nankatsu's varsity team, and became the youngest captain of Japan's U-17 in the Youth World Cup. After graduation, he turned professional and played for both Sao Paulo in Brazil and Barcelona in Spain's La Liga. He is now the captain of Japan's Senior Men's Football Team.
- The Ace: He constantly walks the thin line between The Ace and Boring Invincible Hero (and The Minnesota Fats, within the story). His Ace qualities are slightly downplayed in World Youth Cup and Road to 2002, but not that much.
- All of the Other Reindeer: A milder version. Natsuko, his mother, says that Tsubasa didn't have friends other than Yayoi until they moved to Shizuoka. Tsubasa himself doesn't seem to mind that much since soon the Nankatsu kids befriend him.
- Animal Motif: He's usually represented by a peregrin falcon, specially in the anime. Or phoenix, in much rarer occassions.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Shingo.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Milder case when compared to others. Is a more innocent, slightly less energetic but still idealistic and determined version.
- Catchphrase: Tsubasa Oozora's motto is "The ball is my friend".
- Chaste Hero: He's so Married to the Job that his Oblivious to Love nature becomes the source of many a Running Gag, until Sanae finally gets to date and marry him.
- Childhood Friend Romance: With Sanae. They have known each other since their Elementary days, which eventually grown into love when they are teenagers. They are currently married, and she's pregnant with their first child.
- Clueless Chick Magnet: Oblivious to his popularity with girls and even puzzled as to why girls like him that much.
- Determinator: Boy, is this guy ever. An example: in the final of the third National championship he plays despite numerous injuries.
- Disappeared Dad: His father is a ship captain, so he's usually absent.
- Happily Married: To Sanae.
- Heroic BSoD:
- The semi-canon Endless Dream one-shot shows that he spent the days that follwed Nankatsu's first cup in a brief but intense depressive state, after Roberto goes back to Brazil alone and both Wakabayashi and Misaki move away from Shizuoka.
- He also had one during the match with Musashi, upon learning about Misugi's heart condition, Tsubasa became incredibly concerned that he could accidentally injure him, prematurely ending his career, and as result, his game was severely affected.
- The Hero: He is the main character of the manga and anime. A prodigious football player, Tsubasa dreams of one day winning the FIFA World Cup for Japan. His position is midfielder and sometimes plays as forward, usually wearing jersey #10.
- Kindhearted Simpleton: When off work.
- The Leader: Type IV (Charismatic). Of both the Nankatsu and the Japanese national team.
- Lovable Jock: Yes, he's handsome and popular. Yes, he's a Child Prodigy in regards to soccer. But he works very hard for his success, truly loves the sport, and cares very much for his teammates and his friends. He embodies this trope so much he's possibly the Trope Codifier in anime and manga.
- Married to the Job: He's so married to soccer that boy-and-girl relationships are the rarest element to be found around him; considering this a Shounen genre, it's not very strange. Subverted slightly when he confesses his love to Sanae. Then he goes to Brazil and marries the job again, so that his girlfriend has to follow him there, love-struck and almost in tears before they finally get married for real.
- Nice Guy: He's a friendly person, supportive of his teammates, and respectful of his adversaries.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: His personality has some shades of the legendary Japanese Team Captain, Hidetoshi Nakata.
- Oblivious to Love: He fails to see Sanae's interest in him for quite a while.
- Protagonist Title: He's the titular captain.
- Red Baron: Soccer no houshigo (Heaven Sent Child of Soccer), Soccer Genius, Field Samurai.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Wakabayashi and Hyuuga's Manly Man.
- Signature Attack: His famous Drive Shoot. A violent long shoot with a Topspin like rotation. The ball dives halfway during the shoot. It gains speed and momentum when it dives towards the goal, which takes most goals by surprise and they reacts too late.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist:
- His dream is to win the World Cup, in a time when Japan hadn't ever even classified for participating in the tournament.
- His celebration speech after having won the World Youth tournament also reflects this. In it, he reminds about the civil war in the World Youth tournament's initial host country, the Burundi; he wishes war would never exist and that fights should be settled with a fair-and-square soccer match, and calls for "world peace through soccer".
- European and Latin-American Dub Name Change: Benjamin/Thomas(Fr) Price, aka "Benji"
Goalkeeper for Shutetsu and Tsubasa's main rival before he transferred to Nankatsu. Also played for Japan's U-17. After turning professional, he played for the German Bundesliga's Hamburger SV, and was constantly on the talks to transfer to Bayern Munich, to his refusal.
- The Ace: As a goalkeeper he's one of the best, if not the best... to the point that the author had to put him on a bus to keep matches interesting. There are not a lot of players able to score to Wakabayashi (like Schneider) and those who can are pretty much heroes to the crowd. He is also the only rival that didn't lose against Tsubasa in a match.
- Advertised Extra: In European adaptations he's given top billing on par with Tsubasa even if he gets a lot less focus than him.
- Big Brother Mentor: For Morisaki.
- Broken Ace: Had some shades of this as a kid, due to his massive arrogance and entitlement. It's not fully gone as he grows up.
- Character Development: After his draw against Tsubasa, he has learned to enjoy the game with his other teammates.
- Eye-Obscuring Hat: Sometimes his hat cover the eyes.
- Fatal Flaw: His massive pride.
- Game-Breaking Injury: AT LEAST two.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: First is given one by Mikami, then gives another to Tsubasa.
- Honor Before Reason: In Road to 2002, Hamburg is going to tie 1-1 against Bayern Muenchen, and Hamburg's coach all but instruct every Hamburg player to go for a draw, which should be still good enough for Hamburg considering Bayern is a top-class team while Hamburg is middle-to-high-class team, not to mention they play in Bayern's Home. So what does Wakabayashi do when Hamburg get corner kick at the last minutes? He left his own goalpost to assist Hamburg's last-minutes-attack... which ends in failure. This allows Schneider to launch a quick counter-attack and easily score a goal at Wakabayashi's abandoned goalpost, thus Bayern won for 2-1 at those last minutes. Nice job breaking it, Wakabayashi! What's even more stupid is that it's just a league match and not a very crucial one other than being "Wakabayashi v. Schneider match that Wakabayashi really needs to win to prove a point at Schneider", so it's generally unreasonable for goalkeeper to do something like that. It's understandable for Hamburg's coach to put him on the bench in the next matches. In the beginning of Golden 23, it's mentioned that Wakabayashi and Hamburg's coach had falling out because apparently Wakabayashi never become starting goalkeeper anymore in any match. Can also be considered as Break the Haughty/Badass.
- Hot-Blooded: To the MAX.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Heavy on the jerk at first, then gearing more to the heart of gold.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Strongly implied to be one in the first anime. He lives in a Big Fancy House but seems to be alone there aside of Mikami, and it's later revealed that his parents work and live in London.
- Nice Hat: He more often than not wears a red cap, and sometimes a white one, but when he plays for the National Team he switches to a black one that matches the official uniform.
- Pet the Dog: He's got a cute puppy named John, and he's very protective of Morisaki.
- Reality Ensues: In a "Road to 2002" manga chapter which covers a league match between Hamburg and Bayern Munich, he screws up badly and ends up benched as punishment.
- Red Baron: "Super Great Goal Keeper"
- The Rival: To Tsubasa, initially. Later, to Schneider.
- Secondary Character Title: Even though the series is only Tsubasa-centric, in many European adaptations the anime is known with a Name and Name title that makes it look like that Tsubasa and Wakabayashi are both equally important protagonists (evidenced also by the theme songs). While he is a major character, Wakabayashi is often kept Out of Focus (or even Put on a Bus) due to injuries or other reasons.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Tsubasa's Sensitive Guy.
Played in several teams due to his father traveeling through Japan all the time. Settled in Nankatsu for a semester and became Tsubasa's closest companion, but right after the championship was over, he moved away again. Later he went to France, where he joined the Japanese Team in the Youth Cup, and returned to Nankatsu to finish his education. Currently in France, where he developed a friendly rivalry with El Sire Pierre.
- Academic Athlete: Contrary to most other juvenile soccer players, Misaki is a student with exceptional grades at school.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Most of the time, he's very peaceful and nice. But don't push him too far, as he's quite capable of standing on his own when needed. Notably when he destroys a table to prove his Game-Breaking Injury is no more.
- Beyond the Impossible: Misaki scores the second goal in the Japan-Brazil WYC finals by performing a Raiju shoot alongside Tsubasa and Hyuuga. Let's keep in mind the fact that Hyuuga learned the Raiju shoot through Training from Hell and Tsubasa took months to learn it after seeing Roberto do it. Misaki learned it on the spot and kicks it harder than Tsubasa with his injured leg, which proves to be a crucial move as it changes the path of the ball so that the keeper can't catch it. True, his leg gives out immediately afterward, but damn.
- Big Brother Instinct: Towards his younger half sister Yoshiko. Most notable when he saves her from being hit by a bus at the cost of his opportunity to play in the World Youth Tournament.
- Break the Cutie: His familiar problems make him suffer more than once, but he's not completely broken. By WYC, he retakes contact with his Missing Mom and gets along real well with his kind stepfather and cute half-sister.
- Determinator: During the WYC, everyone believes that Misaki won't be able to play due to his leg injury from being hit by a truck. He manages to come back for the last match against Brazil right when things look hopeless for Japan, and his arrival marks the turning point for Japan's comeback as the team now has a second game maker aside from Tsubasa.
- Game-Breaking Injury: In the first arc, due to Sawada accidentally kicking his leg while aiming for the ball. Later, in the WYC by pulling a Diving Save to save his sister from being hit by a bus.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: In the Holland Youth movie, his self-esteem takes a massive nosedive when he becomes the temporary captain of the Japanese team but doesn't perform well, since he's too used to be a follower in the fields. Misugi has to talk him out of it.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: He is referred to in universe as Tsubasa's greatest partner when on the field and one of his best friends overall. Their combined play is so in sync with each other that they're called the "Golden Pair" and can understand each others intentions with a single glance.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Aside teaming with Tsubasa, he's mostly a balanced player with no specialization like most of the rest.
- The Lancer: To Tsubasa. Misaki is the only one who completely understands Tsubasa's motives and can continue following him even when the other players are too tired to keep going.
- Missing Mom: Parents are divorced, mother remarried. They make amends later.
- Nice Guy: One of the nicest you'll find in the series.
- European and Latin-American Dub Name Change: Bruce Harper
One of Tsubasa's closest friends, and the first Nankatsu captain. He lacks Tsubasa and others's natural skills, but replaces it with his will of iron and his cheerful disposition. His family owns a popular bath house in Shizuoka.
- Bald of Awesome: To a degree, since he keeps his hair very short.
- Boisterous Bruiser: With his cheerful attitude and his determination, he is probably the straightest example in the series.
- Butt-Monkey: If anything funny or humiliating is about to happen in Nankatsu, he's the most likely candidate.
- Cool Kid-and-Loser Friendship: He's the resident Butt-Monkey and generally regarded as one of the worst players, and yet is a close friend to Tsubasa, the star of the team.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Book Dumb, childish, stubborn - but capable of marvelous things for his friends and team when he puts his heart to it.
- Deadpan Snarker: When not being himself that butt of the other's jokes, he has his snarky moments.
- Determinator: Has no world level skill, but definitely has world level willpower.
- The Dutiful Son: Shows some traces in WYC, since he knows he'll sooner or later have to take over the Family Business. Not helped by him being very aware that he Can't Catch Up. In his Love Confession to Yukari, he asks her if she'd be up for staying with him even if he leaves soccer to take over the sento, and after a brief Tsundere moment she says that she will.
- Heroic Sacrifice: At least twice, each time by blocking a critical opponent shoot with his face, leaving him KO for the count and sent in the stadium's infirmary. Counts as this as he's fully aware of the risks and has been warned about them repeteadly, yet he still pulls such moves.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: While Misaki is the closest to Tsubasa in regards to soccer, Ishizaki is very close to him in more personal matters.
- Hot-Blooded: Seen pretty well not just in the fields, but when he steps to defend Sanae from a certain Hopeless Suitor and ends up beaten for his trouble.
- Plucky Comic Relief: He's not completely useless, but most of the time he's used as a comical characater and a Butt-Monkey more than anything else.
- Look What I Can Do Now!: He spent ten years to pull off the Heel Lift and when he do in the match Japan vs Germany in Rising Sun, everyone was surprised.
- Red Baron: "Funky Gutsman"
- Ship Tease: With Kumi in the first anime's rendition of the junior high arc, with Youko in the videogames, and with Yukari in the WYC manga. He and Yukari eventually have a Relationship Upgrade.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Urabe.
- European and Latin American Dub Name Change: Paul Diamond
An ex-Shutetsu player who joined the Nankatsu team, as well as an old friend of Wakabayashi.
Another of the four ex-Shutetsus that got into Nankatsu. He and his friend Kisugi are dubbed the "Silver Duo".
- European and Latin-American Dub Name Change: Johnny Mason
Third of the four ex-Shutetsus that got into Nankatsu. Taki's best friend and partner.
The fourth and last of the four ex-Shutetsus that got into Nankatsu. Quiet, but very dependable when push comes to shove.
- The Big Guy: The largest of the four Shutetsu players. Noticeable in that he wasn't that big as a kid, but apparently hit a huge growth spurt as a teenager
- Lightning Bruiser: As proved by his goal against Souda's team, where Takasugi literally appeared out of nowhere on the rival side of the field... and right in the moment when Tsubasa needed help to get the decisive goal. Then Tsubasa makes a pass instead of shooting, Takasugi pulls a header, and the rest is done.
- European and Latin-American Dub Name Change: Alan "Al" Crocker
A sweet and shy young boy who has a big responsibility on his shoulders: cover up for Genzo when he's injured in the Nankatsu team. For a Naïve Newcomer like Morisaki, this is NOT easy, and he has to struggle very hard to get his work done.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Associated with his Body Block skill, and he once catches Soda's very powerful and hard to catch Razor Shoot.
- Determinator: He is! He keeps getting better, and puts himself in front of powerful shoots if he can stop them. See Red Baron.
- Hero-Worshipper: To Morisaki, Wakabayashi is his "goal".
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Genzo, Ken and most of the aces' shoots are far beyond his abilities, and even lesser keepers like Nakanishi or Ichijo are tougher keepers than him if their flaws aren't exploited. It comes as almost as an Informed Ability that he's supposed to be the third best goalie of Japan.
- Red Baron: "Super Brave Goal Keeper" (given by Wakabayashi, to support him). This is due to him clearly knowing he can't out-perform the Waka goalkeepers but still pressing on.
- Shrinking Violet: At the beginning. More or less understandable, considering how he has to live up to super goalkeepers like Ken and Genzo.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He can be paralyzed if there's a chance of him being hit in the face. Thank you, Hyuga. It takes him a long time to get over it.
Meiwa Higashi / Toho
Started as The Rival, became The Lancer with time. Having lost his dad at an early age, he became hateful and rude towards the world as a whole, but very loving and hardworking to his mother and siblings. Hot-Blooded to the max and one of the best scorers in the Japanese Team, but with serious problems towards authority that have brought him trouble more than once. After working on some of such issues and graduating from school, he now plays for Juventus in Italy's Serie A.
- The Ace: In Road to 2002.
- Always Second Best: To Tsubasa, specially at first.
- Animal Motifs: "The Tiger"
- Ambiguously Brown: Noticeably more tanned than most Japanese characters. Kind of a Justified Trope when one realises that some of his part-time jobs as a kid included heavy physical work that took place out in the sun, therefore it'd be stranger if he was not super tanned.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: More of the aggressive kind than the boastful one, but he knows his (high) place and even after his Character Development, he doesn't let anyone to dispute it.
- Blood Knight: While not as dirty or foul-friendly as Soda or Napoleon, he's uses a lot of brute strength and is not over rugging his enemy players around.
- Break the Haughty: At least twice.
- Can't Catch Up: In a strange way. Hyuga felt this was about himself for losing to Tsubasa 3 years in a row during the National Tournament. His old Coach Kira is the one who made him realise that. Thus he went to Okinawa to train leaving his Team. And then he was punished by his current coach because he did it without permission, thus he caused problems to the team as a whole.
- The Comically Serious: Starting from the World Youth saga, and scenes of this pop up from time to time with increased frequency as the series goes on.
- Cool Big Bro: His relationship with his younger siblings is one of the early signs in the anime of him being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Determinator: It's obvious from his backstory and his attitude in general. He never gives up.
- Deuteragonist: During the elementary school and middle school arcs, Hyuga gets as least as much focus as Tsubasa does, and it actually makes both characters sympathetic enough that you could root for either of them. In the elementary school's national championship, Tsubasa's goal of winning the tournament is to go with his mentor Roberto Hongo to Brazil and become a better soccer player, while Hyuga wants to win the tournament to get scouted by Touou and earning financial support for his family. While Tsubasa wins, Roberto flies back to Brazil without him, and Hyuga is scouted thanks to Tsubasa's decline. In the middle school's national championship, both of them want to win it for competetive reasons: Tsubasa wants to win the championship a third time in a row while he has to endure all the injuries he has to take that year, Hyuga wants to finally win the championship and defeat his rival for once. Both of their teams eventually win the championship as their final match ends in a draw.
- Disappeared Dad: Who either died of illness (anime series) or in an accident (manga). To be fair the accident deal wasn't revealed until WYC, so the anime series had to make up something out of scratch.
- The Dutiful Son: He comes from a poor background and wants to become a professional player to support his family. He also used to help them by doing several part-time jobs.
- Freudian Excuse: He had a bad childhood, dealing with his father's death and his family's money problems.
- Hero of Another Story: Kaigai Gekito Hen in Calcio - Hi Izuru Kuni no Giocatore is this for both him and Aoi, as they get ready for a match between their teams and it also offers an insight in Hyuuga's daily life in Italy.
- Hot-Blooded: Very impulsive but also very passionate, and one of the most determined characters in the series.
- Jerk Jock: How he begins, though little by little he defrosts.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Though he starts off as a Jerkass before his Character Development.
- Kick the Dog:
- His treatment of Morisaki, in the beginning. At some point he deliberately kicked a ball into the poor kid's face, which traumatized him quite badly.
- Slapping Matsuyama across the face and to the floor, just for physically standing in his way.
- Mr. Fanservice: Tall, Dark, and Handsome, also snarky and somewhat of a bad boy (but kind underneath), has several Shirtless Scenes...
- Pose of Supplication: Does this to his Stern Teacher when begging him to let him re-enter the team for the finale of the third Junior High National Championship.
- Promotion to Parent: Partially. His mom does not want him to work outside of school, but he insists on doing so.
- Red Baron: Mouko (Fierce Tiger)
- The Rival: Tsubasa's original and arguably most iconic rival in Japan.
- Self-Made Man: He comes from a very impoverished family and then trains and works his way up.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Takeshi's Sensitive Guy.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Pulls off a weak one each time his friends tease him regarding his relationship with his sweetheart Maki Akamine.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Tries to tell that to Tsubasa during their first match. It does NOT work ("Soccer is my DREAM!").
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: He always rolls up his shirt's sleeves.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: A fairly tall guy with suntanned skin and a dry wit.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Or drink. He loves Coca-Cola. And this gets him remarks from other athletes such as Maki and Gozza, about sodas being not good for sportsmen. This doesn't faze him a single bit. That's because Hyuga was VERY poor as a kid so he couldn't afford to drink Coca-Cola regularly. (And one of his part-time jobs was carrying around empty bottles); now that he has a regular income and a good part of his goals are secured, he feels that he can allow himself that little pleasure. You can say it's a bit of Comfort Food effect.
- Troubled, but Cute: Very popular among fangirls, both in-story and in the fandom.
- Tsundere: Arguably, in regards to Maki Akamine.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Unlike Tsubasa's Dynamic Shoot and other physically improbable techniques, Hyuga's own Tiger Shoot is a regular chute, only kicked with physically improbable strength.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Although he's never a bad guy, he was much more of a Cheerful Child before his father's death.
A close friend of Hyuuga, and the goalie for their team. A Tall, Dark, and Handsome Karate Heir to the Dojo who is caught between what his heart desires and his duty as heir, and later with severe self-esteem problems.
- Achilles' Heel: His acrobatic style allows him to perform powerful and very long ranged catches, but this logically impedes him from being able to correct his momentum if he initiates a maneuver in the wrong direction. This is exploited by Schneider, as he tricks Wakashimazu into lunging towards a side before actually shooting on the opposite. In contrast, Wakabayashi has a shorter range and is less strong, but his reduced mobility makes him much harder to mislead decisively.
- Always Someone Better: He feels that he'll never have a chance to be the titular if Wakabayashi's around. Which causes everyone trouble when this belief becomes strong enough of a motivation to leave the team in WYC.
- Big Damn Heroes: Save his team in the semi-final against the Furano team.
- Chick Magnet: Very popular with the girls. It's quite cute.
- Diving Save: To rescue a puppy. The injuries he sustained would cause trouble later.
- The Dutiful Son: Torn between his love for soccer and his duty to his karate dojo.
- Enigmatic Minion: Before his introduction as the Meiwa player, he was often seen watching the matches with his cap over his eyes and smirking. It was hinted he was a keeper due to his attire somewhat resembling Wakabayashi's, but his allegiance and identity weren't revealed until much later.
- Evil Counterpart: Lampshaded by himself towards Wakabayashi.
- Foil: To Wakabayashi. Their roles and even their names are similar, but while Genzo is quite hotheaded and uses a stationary goalkeeping style, Ken is much more collected and ironically specializes in flips and acrobatic catches.
- Heir to the Dojo: Subverted - he loves the family dojo but does not want to inherit it.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: So very pretty-looking, and keeps his hair longer than any of the Japanese players.
- Martial Arts and Crafts: His gimmick: he uses karate strikes and blocks to stop shoots.
- Master of All: It is implied that he would have been just as good as a field player as he is as a goalkeeper. Hyuga himself states Ken has the best shot on the entire team only second to himself, which technically puts him over Sawada and people from other teams around Sawada's level - and that despite Ken being presumably trained mostly to keep. He has even played as a substitute forward on occasion.
- Morality Pet: Downplayed. He and Sawada are the closest players to Hyuga, but despite being apparent that Hyuga knew Wakashimazu much before their time in the team, it is Sawada the one who becomes his main emotional support while Ken remains in the sidelines.
- Red Baron: "Karate Keeper".
- The Red Mage: Usually loses the keeper contest with Wakabayashi, but Wakashimazu has been showed to be a strong outfield player aside from a keeper (with Hyuga even considering him better than Sawada!), which is something that Genzo and most other keepers in the series can't boast of.
- The Rival: To Wakabayashi, like Hyuuga to Tsubasa.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: As mentioned.
- 10-Minute Retirement: In WYC, after believing that he'd never have a chance to be the titular GK.
- European Dub Name Change: Danny MellowLatin-American Dub Name Change: Ralph Mellows (original series and J), Ralph Sawada (Road to 2002)
Hyuuga's best friend and surrogate little brother, one of the few people in the Meiwa team who can keep him in line.
- Evil Counterpart: Subverted. He is clearly to Hyuuga what Misaki is to Tsubasa, down to character design and personality, but he is much less arrogant than Hyuuga or Wakashimazu, which makes him almost a Token Good Teammate every time the Meiwa players are the bad guys.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Had VERY short hair while in Meiwa Elementary, has let it grow a little longer by the time he goes to Toho.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Like Misaki, he has no discernible field of specialization, being just a good player who syncs well with Hyuga.
- Kid-Appeal Character: Unusually polite and emotional for the rest of Kid Appeal Characters in the series.
- The Lancer: To Hyuga.
- Morality Pet: Almost the only one in Meiwa, aside of Kira and perhaps Ken, that Hyuga regularly listens to.
- The Reliable One: As the more emotionally stable of the Meiwa/Toho trio.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Hyuuga's Manly Man.
- Undying Loyalty: Towards Hyuga. In the original series, he goes as far as asking Sanae if she can tell Tsubasa about Hyuga's problems with his coach so he will intervene.
Captain of the Musashi school team, an excellent player... with a fatal flaw: his very weak heart. Not even an operation and treatment are fully able to let him overcome it: whie his skill is intact, his stamina is severely limited. His analytical mind, however, gives him a sort-of solution: becoming The Smart Guy and The Strategist, alongside a reserve player who comes out in crucial moments.
- Broken Ace: He is implied to be Tsubasa's technical superior on the field and a leader probably just as good, but his heart condition limits deeply his performance and puts a damper in his self-worth.
- Chick Magnet: Girls loooooove him.
- Childhood Friend Romance: All but stated to have this going on with Yayoi.
- Determinator: When young, because his illness gave him a near suicidal obsession with leading his team to victory before he has to go through treatment. As he grows up, one can still see some traces of this every now and then, like when he manages to come back to action after his illness through the standard "operation" and very hard work.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Very extreme version, as he'd rather put his life in risk than lose a match. He loosens up later, though.
- Drama-Preserving Handicap: His heart illness.
- Handicapped Badass: As seen below.
- Ill Boy: Due to his weak heart, making him prone to Hollywood Heart Attacks.
- It's Not You, It's Me: Yayoi states to Yoshiko in Rising Sun that the only reason he did not become engaged with her was because he feared that his heart disease will come. Later revealed that if he overextends himself in a match, his heart illness could come back
- Red Baron: Garasu no Ace (Glass Ace)
- The Strategist: His role, both in and outside the fields.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: He's calm and not really prone to any emotional outbursts, but he's also very wise and kind to those close to him.
- Weak, but Skilled: He's crazily talented and skilled, to the point that his introduction has him outperforming Tsubasa of all people, but his stamina remains very low so he can barely play half a match.
- Would Hit a Girl: He slapped Yayoi for telling Tsubasa about his heart condition, saying that she had no right to do that.
The captain of the Furano team, which is from Hokkaido. Serious, dependable and responsible, as well as with a bittersweet emotional baggage in his highschool years.
- Animal Motif: The eagle.
- Determinator: Wind or snow over him, he never stops working hard.
- A Father to His Men
- Hero Antagonist: His character attributes mirror Tsubasa's ones and even expand them in some cases: he's a very motivated player, works as the soul of his team, and has an open Love Interest. He could believably be the protagonist of his own soccer manga.
- Martial Arts Headband: Proud owner of a hand-sewn one, courtesy of Yoshiko; also qualifies as Iconic Outfit and Iconic Item.
- Number Two: In WYC, he becomes the vice-captain of the Japanese team.
- Red Baron: Hokkai no Arawashi (The Wild Eagle of the Northern Sea)
- The Smart Guy: Very good at indy ploying and capable of keeping his cool in harsh crisis.
- Team Dad: Not only to Furano, but also when several players get kicked out of the National Team (Hyuuga included) after they fail Gamo's Real Japan 7 test.
- Twice Shy: With his assistant Yoshiko.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Sometimes, with Hyuga.
- European Dub Name Change: Jason and James DerrickLatin-American Dub Name Change: Kazuo and Masao Korioto
Twin brothers from the same team, whose combination is very hard to beat.
- Butt Monkeys: Not Played for Laughs, since the poor dudes almost always get injured in one way or another and almost never can finish a game.
- Deadpan Snarkers: Very much so, and their favorite "victim" is Ishizaki. Though that might be because he and Tsubasa are among the few able to counter their attacks.
- Fastball Special: Their signature Sky Hurricane.
- Glass Cannon: They can perform complex and surprising team moves to bypass the rival team's defenses, but the inherent complexity of their teamwork means they are constantly risking their bodies, so they are royally screwed whenever they botch it (seen in Unwitting Instigator of Doom) or after its abuse (seen in Reality Ensues).
- Reality Ensues: Skylab Hurricane is a fearsome technique: one guy kicks the other guy to jump way above enemy defenders. However, the Olympic series revealed that as the Tachibanas grow older, and therefore heavier, they became unable to pull this technique more than once in a match. Afterward, their legs will get injured and they will have to be substituted.
- Single-Minded Twins: Weaponized, even. If they weren't twins and didn't know each other as well as they do, their partnership wouldn't be as succesful as it is.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In the junior high arc, Tsubasa gets his very serious shoulder injury when the Tachibanas fail to pull their Skylab Hurricane and he protects Masao, who got the worst part, with his own body. To be fair, had he not done that Masao would've probably gotten even more injured, and Masao is sincerely apologetic afterwards.
An eager player from Nagasaki who appears in the second half of the original series. He turns out to be less of a Dumb Muscle than everyone thinks he is, and specially when he and his partner Mitsuru Sano work together.
- Adaptational Wimp: Downplayed. In Road to 2002, he is still shown as a powerful player and a nasty threat, but his Backspin Pass and the rest of his individual technical feats are cut out, leaving him as a stylistically flatter character.
- Ambiguously Brown: Not as much as Hyuuga, but still there. Justified since he's from a port city AND used to be in the rugby club before switching to soccer.
- The Big Guy: The largest player in the Japanese Team.
- Big Guy, Little Guy: The big guy to Sano.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Very stubborn and spirited in the fields.
- Casanova Wannabe: Hilariously used in his first anime appearance.
- Genius Bruiser: He rarely shows it, but is a shockingly clever player and even knows a bit about dynamic shoots himself.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Sano.
- Martial Arts and Crafts: Subverted. He practises amateur sumo, but he uses it relatively little when playing soccer compared to Wakashimazu.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: His main character trait and strength during the National Junior Interhigh arc: he looked like a crude strongman whose only concivable plan was bruting his way through the field, but he was actually a great tactician and a team player of the Golden Duo's level. Hadn't Tsubasa responded with a Let's Get Dangerous! of his own, Jito's team would have won against Nankatsu.
- Red Baron: "Power Defense"
- Strong and Skilled: He definitely prefers ramming people out of his way rather than dribbling, but he's not ignorant of the most technical aspects of soccer and has a few tricks up his sleeve.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Almost. He scores in his own goal zone in the WYC match vs. Uruguay, which puts the team in serious risk. He decides to make up for it by pulling a very risky move with Hyuuga's help (and Hyuuga himself is all "are you crazy?!" when Jito asks him for help), and it works.
- Volleying Insults: With his cousin Yukari.
Jito's best friend and the one who got him into soccer in the first place.
- Big Guy, Little Guy: The little guy to Jito.
- Blinding Bangs: His eyes are sometimes covered by his hair.
- Fragile Speedster: He is extremely short and petite and can fly through the field, but his field of skill is mainly assisting Jitto in his strategies.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Jito.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: The sign when he gets serious is when his eye(s) are shown through his bangs.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: A mini-version, but his hair can rival Wakashimazu's in length.
- Peek-a-Bangs: His eyes are seldom seen through his bangs.
- Red Baron: Hengejizai no Karuwazashi (Phantasmagoric Actrobat)
- Satellite Character: He mostly works as a contrast/assistant to Jito, both narratively and on the field.
- Shorter Means Smarter
A very, very aggressive and arrogant player from Osaka, whose temper will bring him trouble more than once.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: He can take players out and he knows it.
- Blood Knight: Which cause trouble once he clashes with another (and, unfortunately for Soda, smarter) Blood Knight like Napoleon.
- The Berserker: His style is direct and forward, and he goes for the leg if he feels the need.
- Break the Haughty: His team and Nankatsu's match manages to knock him off his pedestal, and save for one or three moments he's noticeably more agreeable.
- Combat Pragmatist: Does NOT hesitate to go for the kill and hurt his rivals if he can get away with it. In fact, what was supposed to be a simply ankle sprain for Tsubasa becomes a massive injury after Soda targets him.
- Genius Bruiser: May look like his aggression is his only trump card on the field, but none of it - he is skilled enough to cause trouble to more technical players, and his Razor Shoot can easily score against the third best goalie to that point, Nakanishi.
- Hot-Blooded: His Fatal Flaw, specially in the Shin match against France, when Napoleon exploits this and gets him kicked out.
- The Idiot from Osaka: While not stupid, he plays up another Osaka stereotype: being Hot-Blooded and arrogant.
- Red Baron: Kamisori Fighter ("Razor Fighter")
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky
- Tears of Remorse: When expelled in the match against France
- Token Evil Teammate: Is the only dirty player in a national team otherwise composed by regular ones.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: As said above, what was supposed to be a mere ankle sprain for Tsubasa made him vulnerable to Souda's fouls, becoming a far more serious wound that coupled with his injured shoulder, put him at serious risk towards the end of the Junior High arc.
Younger than Tsubasa and Co. for two years, Nitta succeeded them after they left Nanaktsu Elementary. Then he goes to another school (Otomo) and gets the chance to be their rival..
- Animal Motif: The falcon.
- Big Bad Wannabe: During his career in the Otomo, he tries to shape itself as the next big rival in the series, complete with a team with black uniforms, overwhelming 4-on-1 tactics and another superb goalie. Unfortunately for him, he doesn't live up his expectatives.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Literal, as he is quite petite.
- Crippling Overspecialization: His Falcon Shoot is the fastest shoot of the series, but it's actually very inaccurate. This lack of aim, in contrast with shoots like Hyuga's (which manages to be both strong and accurate at once) or Tsubasa's (which is not very strong, but very artful), is what impedes it from becoming a gamebreaking skill like the main ones.
- Cute Little Fangs: To show his pettiness.
- Fragile Speedster: He is crazily fast, possibly even more than the canonical speedster Sano, and overall a better rounded player than him. However, his skill in other fields of the game is still small in comparison to lead players like Tsubasa, Misugi or even Matsuyama.
- HeelFace Turn: Loses most of his arrogance after the Otomo is bested.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With giant goalkeeper Isamu Ichijo. They became the hope of the Nankatsu after Tsubasa and Wakabayashi left the team and later kept their status in the Otomo. After that, Nitta went to the Japanese National Team and Ichijo disappeared.
- Kid-Appeal Character: Young, small, rebellious and cocky.
- Red Baron: Hayabusa shooter (Peregrine Falcon Shooter)
- Voiced by: Bin Shimada (Original series and 'Tatakae Dream Team'' smartphone game), Andrés García (2018 anime) [Latin American Spanish dub]
The surprisingly tall keeper of the Otomo.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Very much like Nakanishi, he aspires to be a star goalkeeper like Wakabayashi or Wakashimazu. Actually, he is rather around Nakanishi's level, that is, being better than the average unnamed keeper but not in the league of those two.
- The Brute: To Nitta, also being appropriately huge.
- Eyes Always Shut: His eyes are never seen.
- Lightning Bruiser: Very fast for a giant like him.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Is a pretty unknown character, but the viewers will recognize him as the desperate looking keeper who catches Tsubasa's first shoot in Captain Tsubasa's first opening.
- European Dub Name Change: Theo Sellers/SellecksLatin American Dub Name Change: BorjiniVoiced by: Shigeru Nakahara (original series), Goro Ohtsuka ('Tatakae Dream Team'' smartphone game)
A enormously obese but surprisingly agile goalkeeper for the Naniwa.
- Acrofatic: He is gigantic, yet capable of big jumps to reach the ball.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Smirks at the Nanakatsu team and boasts of being the best keeper around. However, he is proved wrong.
- Big Eater: Eats more than several guys of his team put together.
- Big Fun: After his HeelFace Turn.
- Stout Strength: Breaks the ground around him with a double punch in rage of being scored.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Zig-Zagged. It looks at first that his size is his only asset, but it is revealed he has some conventional skill in his task to back it up. However, it ends up not being enough to keep up once his weaknesses are exposed.
- The Worf Effect: Courtesy of Soda.
- Villainous Breakdown: When Tsubasa scores goal after goal on him, he actually tries to punch Tsubasa's leg in a fit of rage. See Stout Strength above.
- European Dub Name Change: Terry/Rob Denton/Nicolas Alliot (Fr)Latin-American Dub Name Change: Aoi Shingo (the same, but with the order fully inverted)
A Japanese boy who admires Tsubasa so very much. He tired to make his own way in Italy but things were EXTREMELY hard for him there, since he was subjected to a huge Break the Cutie process. Shingo managed to work through it, however, and becomes a good addition to the Japanese team.
- Boisterous Bruiser
- Cheerful Child
- Fragile Speedster: Very fast, agile and technical, but his small size becomes a trouble when he faces the mighty Dutch defenders.
- Hero of Another Story: Kaigai Gekito Hen in Calcio - Hi Izuru Kuni no Giocatore is this for both Hyuuga and him, as they get ready for a match between their teams.
- Kid-Appeal Character
- Odd Friendship: With Hyuuga, in WYC
- The Polly Anna: Nothing brings him down for too long. At most he cries a little easily sometimes, but then he wipes his tears away and bounces back.
- Red Baron: Principe del Sole (Prince of the Sun)
- Shorter Means Smarter: He is petite, but quite fast-thinking and a survivor on his own right.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist:
- Trying to enter Italian teams without any connection or notable achievement whatsoever? Pretty naive and unrealistic even by the standards of this series where Tsubasa, Wakabayashi, and Hyuga all join their respective clubs with little help from their own connections (Katagiri and Roberto, Mikami, and Matsumoto, respectively).
- Even in the flashback when he played for Nakahara Junior High, he wanted to defeat Nankatsu Junior High despite the fact that his team is a hilariously underclassed Butt-Monkey compared to Nankatsu and was extremely unhappy with his coach and teammates' (most if not all of which are his senpais, no less) perceived incompetence. This contributes to his Friendless Background and makes him The Friend Nobody Likes in his junior high school.
- In the World Youth, he's upset that Italy was defeated by Uruguay before their match against Japan and called them out for losing. This practically ignores the fact that Uruguay is a South American team where soccer's popularity rivals that of Europe.
- Wild Card: He is the trump card of the Japanese team in the Asian qualification round.
- Breakthe Cutie: Not only his career failed to lift off the ground in Argentina, but his girlfriend fell victim to Death by Childbirth and he's had to raise their child alone.
- Good Parents: He has a really cute daughter, Risa. He clearly adores her and she loves him back.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: He's been described as such since he's got good power, speed, defense and even some potential for goalkeeping. If not for his insecurity, he'd be a borderline perfect player.
- Stage Fright: His Fatal Flaw: not only he's a quiet and shy person, but he tends to lose his confidence very easily.
Real Japan 7 Team
- Jerkass Façade: Their whole Jerk Jock attitude is just an act to motivate the Japan Youth players to become stronger. Once they're defeated once and for all, Matsuyama, who already knew the true nature of RJ7 explains to the rest of Japan Youth about this and RJ7 players immediately become friendly and congratulate Japan Youth for defeating them.
- The Psycho Rangers: Much less villainous than usual, since this is a sports manga without real evil characters. At most they're temporary Punch Clock Villains.
- European and Latin-American Dub Name Change: Jack MorrisVoiced by: Hiroshi Kamiya (Captain Tsubasa J); Marcos Patiño (Captain Tsubasa and Captain Tsubasa J), Yamil Atala (Road to 2002), Danann Galván (2018 anime) [Latin American Spanish dub], Rosa Sánchez (Captain Tsubasa), Mercedes Espinosa (Captain Tsubasa J) [European Spanish dub]
- Combat Pragmatist: During the Meiwa/Nankatsu final, he show his fare share of cheating and bumping opponents to get the ball.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Very harsh around the edges, but his heart's usually in the right place.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Ishizaki
- X Marksthe Hero: Subverted: not only he's not The Hero, but his x-shaped scar is located on his forehead.
See "foreign rivals"