Yoichi Takahashi, who announced that the series would end in April due to deteriorating health and changing conditions in the manga industry, said in a letter to readers, "This was not an easy decision, it may disappoint and upset those who enjoyed reading Captain Tsubasa, but I hope you understand my decision."

Yoichi Takahashi began writing the graphic novel about 11-year-old soccer prodigy Tsubasa Ozora in 1981. He inspired future soccer stars like Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta. 

Takahashi hopes the character will live on in some form and plans to sketch out ideas that could be used for future adaptations.

The series is watched by more than 100 countries and has sold more than 70 million copies in Japan and more than 10 million abroad.

Takahashi became addicted to soccer after watching the 1978 World Cup on television. He created Captain Tsubasa to help popularize the sport in Japan, which had no professional league at the time.