Ao ni nare/ Be Blues
It is a shonen manga about a kid Ryuu Ichijou who wants to turn blue ie. wear Blue jersey of the Japanese National Football team.
I say it's shonen but it is without the usual tropes. In this story the protagonist levels up by his own effort, he plans for success, and from time to time gets unlucky too. We see him struggling and he responds in a realistic manner.
This is unlike other shonen where the MC gets sudden powerups, has amazing genes due to a legendary father, and is always lucky to meet great teachers who teach them forbidden techniques.
The story is simple. Boy wants to be a footballer. But in this simplicity lies beauty. There are no villains here. Only real life struggles and people who overcome. Highly inspiring.
The artwork is good. Football movements are well explained in matches, making it easy to understand.
This is where the manga truly shines. You fall in love with these guys, you cheer for them and wish for their success.
Full enjoyment!! There is never a full moment here. I read 60 chapters in one day. The only problem is that only 80 chapters have been scanlated so far. But a new one comes out every week.
All sports fans, football fans especially please read this. If you want an inspirational story-read this.
This is one of the most underrated manga out there!
Thanks for reading!