In Japan, the manga series Captain Tsubasa was a veritable bible for young aspiring soccer players now active today. Practically every J. League player on the pitch today was reading the series or watching the anime during the ’80s.

This wasn’t just limited to Japan though; the popularity of the soccer-themed comic had spread around the world touching the hearts of young athletes everywhere. Professional soccer player Lionel Messi professed his love for the story, as did Andres Iniesta, Francesco Totti… The list goes on and on.

Among these many pros, German forward Lukas Podolski recently found himself in the loving cyber-embrace of Japan after posting a picture of his new shin guards complete with image of Captain Tsubasa‘s Kojiro Hyuga.

Lukas Podolski

Lukas Poldoski is a forward for Arsenal FC and plays midfield for the German national team. He made a name for himself thanks to his particularly lethal left-foot shots both in terms of accuracy, range and power.

Kojiro Hyuga

In contrast the Ozora Tsubasa’s balanced personality and techniques, Kojiro Hyuga is a fierce forward player with devestatingly powerful kicks and a take-no-prisoners attitude.

When his sleeves are rolled up he takes on the wild persona of a fierce animal which is let loose in his special move: the Tiger Shot, which holds the power to simply flick off anyone in its path.

Net Reaction

The shin guards were displayed on Podolski’s Instagram account decorated with the nickname “Poldi” and an image of Kojiro Hyuga sleeves rolled up and fist raised in victory.

Reaction from Japanese net users was overwhelmingly positive with comments ranging from “Very cool!” to “Lol, he likes Hyuga?” and “That’s hot. I’m a fan now.” Some netizens mentioned that being German, he should probably get a pair of Karl-Heinz Schneider pads as well. Schneider is a German Captain Tsubasa character also known for packing a powerful kick.

Overall, its a testament to the worldwide impact of the manga series. With the Premier League kicking off this weekend (17 August) we’ll soon be able to see Podolski and his new pads in action. And if he’s got his sleeves rolled up, look out.

Source: Instagram – poldi_official
Original Article by Takashi Harada

Podolski with a very Kojiro-esque shot

Here’s an 16 bit adaptation of a Kojiro shot

[ Read in Japanese ]