Pineal Soccer Captain Tsubasa according to Pineal

Needless to dance around.

Every child born in the 80s, sufficiently sane and adapted in his socio-affective context, had a football hero.

No, I’m not talking about Ruben Sosa. He is in second place.

I’m talking about the football hero by definition.

If you attended middle school in Wyoming, キ ャ プ テ ン 翼 should suggest you something.

Ok: the manga, the anime, the original story, the adaptations, the alternative ending, the translation, the dubbing…

Here we are talking about something more important: bicycle kicks on hot red asphalt and catapults that put a strain on billions of vertebrae.

I will not go into particularly refined thoughts and I am sure that the purists of the manga will have a bit of clemency for this poor designer of football shirts raised on a diet of bread, béchamel and Captain Tsubasa.

Today we’ll talk about Captain Tsubasa, the cartoon known by every sentient being of the solar system and which has delighted the childhood of millions of dreaming children.

4 throw-ins in 125 episodes, giant watermelons shaped soccer fields, an offside that lasted two episodes.

Today Pineal celebrates a tribute to Captain Tsubasa.

A tribute to the best part of our childhood.

NOTE: the names of most of teams and players have been translated from a nonsense Japanese to an even more nonsense Italian version.

Here you’ll find the Italian version of those names and… at some point you’ll find a team called Hot Dog. 


Holly e Benji


Tsubasa Ozora’s first team. Oliver Hutton in Italy.

Nankatsu (Newppy in Italy) was created collecting the worst free agents from the elementary school of Kyoto to participate the qualifications of the tournament of Shizuoka prefecture.

The result was a triangular against Shimada and Atletico Catania, culminating with the victory of Nankatsu and the relegation of the Italian team in league.



The first real challenge Oliver Hutton had to face, after the digestion of Colcannon.

First touch, perfect triangulations, wild rabonas, pure style.

Shimada was none of this.

The entry of Holly during the qualifications brings the result from 0-2 to 3-2 in two minutes, inflicting a hat trick that would have dwarfed Recoba’s debut.

The home team finally qualifies for the national tournament final. 🎌

Shimada now plays in Group 活 of the Pro League of Japan.



Newppy’s nightmare.

The Muppet (Meiwa Higashi FC in Japan) leaded by the captain Mark Lenders (Kojiro Hyuga in moments of intimacy) manages to beat the Newppy in the first round of the national championship.

According to some indiscretions leaked by the manga designers, in a first version of Captain Tsubasa, it seems that the supershot of Lenders was the Trivela.

They decided to settle to something more realistic like a fireball able to separate a wall in concrete into 4 equal parts.



According to some rumors, in 1993 the club was close from engaging Eric Cantona.

Before that, the club never delighted its supporters.

Miserably defeated during the match against the New Team, they beat the record of defeats established by American Samoa.

Now the Otomo F.C. is a franchising of snow tire dealers.



That is way the best part of the creativity of the manga translators.

The Hanawa team leaded by the Tachibana twins (James and Jason Derrick in Italian version) becomes Hot Dog.

Who knows why. They could have chosen any other word such as Haddaway, Herpes, Humidity…

Any word would have been better than Hot Dog, let’s be serious.

And finally, respect for the boldness with which the authors of the manga tried to rewrite the most basic laws of physics and common sense.

The catapult. How can you hope to jump and keep floating with your back like a magnetic train and throw your your brother on the crossbar? 

For what? Why on the crossbar?

Nothing in the world has ever made less sense. Neither pineapple on pizza.



Poor attempt to touch the hearts make flow rivers of tears.

The story of Julian Ross is the story of a champion forced to abandon his dream because of a heart attack.

Here the authors of Captain Tsubasa do their best with empathy. Too bad an 8-years-old child doesn’t have those emotions.

An 8-years-old child wants to see bicycle kicks with backheels and powershots able to demolish dental arches. He doesn’t want to learn how to recognize the symptoms of atrial fibrillation.

Originally called Musashi… It became Mambo. Why Mambo?



Sentenced to 6 months for dealing in expired anti-diarrhea drugs, Makoto Soda (Ralph Peterson in Italy) led the Azumaichi team (Arctic in Italy) in the national championship, ending up with collapsing under the blows of Hutton & friends.

The dirty game and the technique of tackling on the thyroid were useless.

The only consolation, Edmundo’s compliments and the 1990 Gold Scalpel Award.


The team of the giant goalkeeper Teo Sellers (Taichi Nakanishi in Japan) veeery close to bankruptcy during the 1996-97 season, is the only Holly & Benji series’ team which has never won a summer friendly match.

Far far away from the idea of team of talents, the Norfolk (or Naniwa, does’n make difference) survived until the eighth-finals of the national championship, focusing only on the impressive waistline of the goalkeeper.



Philip Callaghan rocks.

At least, that was what Callaghan himself claimed.

He learned the technique of Eagle Shot in an electronics store during the Black Friday.

Fearsome midfielder of the Flynet (Furano in Japan) Philip soon ended up with being absolutely useless once he landed in the National team.


I was always fascinated by the combination of colors in the Hirado shirt.

It’s like a sauce made from mayonnaise and grated parmesan: it looks like a severe bullshit but if you think about it, it’s not a bad idea.

By analyzing this team, you will find the underlying philosophy of many Japanese cartoons: a sort of incremental story where the main character fights against seemingly indestructible opponents.
Then, he will find his former opponents next to him in a future adventure, and discover that who used to be indestructible now is as weak as a dead plant of arugula.

Defender Clifford Yuma didn’t take too long to show his true face in the national team.



The fearsome team of Mark Lenders, Ed Warner and the raising star Danny Mellow.

Wait wait wait. I’m talking about the captain Hyūga Kojirō, the goalkeeperWakashimazu Ken and Takeshi Sawada.

Toho (Toho also in the Japanese version) ended up challenging the New Team in the historic tournament’ final mach, ended by 4-4.

A final ended in a draw, what’s so strange?
“We choose 5 shooters and we play it on penalties,” you would say.

But in Japan, they apparently have a weakness for idiocy. Why did the trophy go to both teams instead of solving it from 11 meters like the rest of the civilized world?

Just imagine Cannavaro raising the World Cup with Zidane.



New Team was Oliver Hutton.

And Oliver Hutton was each of us.

And each of us wondered, at least once in a lifetime… “What the hell was Roberto Sedinho doing in Fujisawa, instead of looking for talents in the favelas of Rio?”

For too many years we have wondered about this existential question.

Actually, the story of Roberto tried to touch the sensibility – like Julian Ross’ disease – of children’s empathy.

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What do you think about the Pineal’s proposals for the jerseys of Captain Tsubasa? ⚽

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