Captain Tsubasa (キャプテン翼), known worldwide as Captain Tsubasa Road to 2002 is a TV anime series originally broadcast by TV Tokyo in Japan from 2001-10-07 to 2002-10-06. With 52 episodes, the series is composed of three arcs: Road to Dream (a retelling of the original TV anime), Road to Sky (a retelling of the OVA series), and Road to Victory (new material that combines a few elements from the World Youth Saga manga with the stories from the Road to 2002 manga).
Originally, it was released to advertise the FIFA World Cup 2002 in Japan and South Korea, the first ever to be played in Asia. The original broadcast of the last episode, the 10th of June, 2002, was within the already running competition. Japan, which passed the group stage, would be eliminated just 8 days later 0-1 in the round of 16 against Turkey.
Parallels to the real world include the Youth World Cup won by Japan in the episodes 21 to 32, which is played in France, just like the 1998 World Cup.
The series was sponsored by Adidas (for example, the logo can be seen in Genzo's cap, in the stadiums' adboards or in Japan's uniform).
In the series, various club teams had their uniforms, logos and names modified, as well some players' names and appearances (most precisely, the ones based on players who were active during the series' run) due to the disagreement between FIFA and Shueisha regarding the featuring of the clubs with their real-world logos, stadiums and jerseys, (which could be a reason about why the Road to 2002 manga was not published outside Asia).
Some other countries saw releases at other dates. To name an example, the German dub of the anime got the name "Super Kickers 2006" and was, as the name implies, produced about four years later for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
- Official website at TV Tokyo (Japanese)