|Screencap from the anime|
|Occupation|| Former coach of Meiwa FC |
Okinawa juvenile soccer trainer
U-22 Japan's coach
Olympic Japan coach
|Captain Tsubasa manga chapter 18 "Burn Nankatsu! To beat Meiwa!!"|
Kozo Kira (吉良 耕三, kira kouzou) is the coach of Meiwa FC during "Kids' Dream", and he is the one who taught Hyuga the Tiger Shot. During "Golden-23", he becomes the coach of U-22 Japan and later Olympic Japan during "Rising Sun".
He is first introduced as the coach of Meiwa FC; the result of the elementary school tournament (which saw the team rise to the runner-up position, losing in the end against Tsubasa's Nankatsu) validate his somewhat unorthodox approach (like letting the still young Sawada play and sanctioning Hyuga's aggressive style).
After Hyuga's transfer to the Toho private academy, he keeps coaching Meiwa. After Toho's narrow victory against Misugi's Musashi FC during "Boys' Fight", he criticized Hyuga for having mollified, stating that he had forgotten the hunger that gave him the moniker Fierce Tiger, and that was the reason that the two previous years he had been routinely defeated by Nankatsu and Tsubasa. This prompted Hyuga to temporarily leave Toho and go to Okinawa where, under Kira's supervision, he learned the Tiger Shot.
When Hyuga and the rest of All Japan Jr. Youth were in Europe to participate in the Jr. Youth World Tournament in the "J Boys' Challenge" arc, Kira sent him a customized ball which was thrice as heavy as a normal soccer ball, which Hyuga used to develop his Neo Tiger Shot.
In the "Battle of World Youth" arc, when Minato Gamo expelled Hyuga from the training camp, he turned again to Kira for counsel, but Kira stated that he had nothing left to teach Hyuga, and therefore the young player had to rely solely on himself for further development.
In the "Golden-23" arc, he is selected as the coach of the Japanese U-22 team (a rather surprising and controversial choice, in many people's ideas) with the ultimate objective of gaining qualification for the Olympics and winning the gold medal for Japan, swearing to no longer drink alcohol to show his determination to complete this objective. From the very beginning he imposed his peculiar approach. This included issuing a recall for the Real Japan 11's former players (like futsal practitioners Furukawa and Kazami, and lesser known players like Soga and Igawa). He also imposed radical changes to the lineup, like reverting Wakashimazu to a forward. However, his most controversial decision was to press forward in the qualifications without the overseas players (pointedly Tsubasa, Hyuga, Aoi and Akai), even after the team's tight spot after losing against the unexpectedly strong Australian team. His philosophy perseveres and Japan qualifies to the Madrid Olympics.
In "Rising Sun", before the start of the Olympics, Kira has three test matches against New Zealand and one against Mexico to determine the selected 23 players among the 33 that will play in Olympics. During the match against Mexico, Kira reveals that he was a member of the Japanese team that won the bronze medal in the 1968 Olympics.