4.266 out of 5 from 81 votes
Years ago, the East Tokyo United soccer team was a force to be reckoned with, captained by the talented and charismatic Takeshi Tatsumi. But after leaving suddenly to join an amateur team in England, ETU's record and morale quickly plummeted, their meager status kept afloat only by the efforts of new captain Murakoshi. Now, several years have passed and Takeshi is in town once more, this time to bring the team back to victory. But with fans resentful of the man's former departure, clashing personalities on the team and Takeshi's unorthodox and lackadaisical coaching style, ETU's rise to fame won't be easy...
They were known as the 'Generation of Miracles' – five basketball prodigies who helped lead Teiko Middle School's basketball team to glory, defeating anyone who got in their way. But a mysterious rumor tells of a sixth, a phantom player who the five prodigies respected greatly. That boy is Tetsuya Kuroko, a freshman at Seirin High and the newest member of the basketball club. Alongside strong teammates such as Taiga Kagami, Kuroko will use his unique skills on the court to help the team defeat old rivals and make their way to the championships.
While not about the same sport and taking place in a different setting, both Kuroko no Basket and Giant Killing star a very unorthodox character who is underestimated by the sports team. beyond that, they're fairly typical sports titles, with arcs pertaining to battling a specific team-of-the-week and a a general desire to make it to a championship.
Once a baseball player for Saitama High, Keisuke Hatogaya now lives his adult life as a successful, manipulative salesman – that is, until he's framed by his boss, betrayed by his girlfriend, and thrown in jail. But things turn around for Keisuke when he's visited by the coach-turned-principal of Saitama High. In exchange for bailing him out, Keisuke must coach the poorly-performing team and bring them to Koshien within a year, else the team will lose its funding and be shut down. With his unorthodox methods, can Keisuke lead the boys to victory?
Two baseball manga about an unorthodox coach who's asked to train a team of misfits and bring them to glory - both are quite long-running as well, and will likely hold your interest if you liked one or the other.