Japan Players Bow To Fans And Clean Changing Rooms
Japan fans impressed the world yesterday when they were seen cleaning up after their team's World Cup match, despite suffering a disappointing blow when they were knocked out of the tournament by Belgium.
And it seems their team also showed the same level of respect back to their adoring fans, having been seen bowing to them.
#SAYONARA: This is the #Japan team's dressing room after they lost to Belgium in the 94th minute at the #FIFA World Cup. They even left behind a note with "thank you" in #Russian.- Mahesh Madusanka :flag_lk::heart::flag_jp: (@MaheshNegombo) July 3, 2018
(Photo: Twitter/Priscilla Janssens, FIFA coordinator) pic.twitter.com/HnnW5L47eW
The players stuck around on the pitch and walked over to the fans, giving them a round of applause before also bowing.
And while the team was no doubt seriously disappointed, they proved they weren't bitter - having reportedly stayed behind to clean their changing rooms before heading home from the tournament.
They even left behind a note that read 'Thank you' in Russian, which is nothing short of lovely.
Japan-based sports journalist Scott McIntyre said that Japan's actions reflected the nature of their culture.
"It's not just part of the football culture but part of Japanese culture," he told the BBC.
"You often hear people say that football is a reflection of culture. An important aspect of Japanese society is making sure that everything is absolutely clean and that's the case in all sporting events and certainly also in football."
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Japan were 2-0 up after 52 minutes, but Belgium produced a stunning comeback to win 3-2 with the last kick of the game to book a place in the quarter-finals against Brazil.
After a goalless first half, we'd be lying if we said we had high hopes for an exciting game but things took an unexpected turn.
There were no changes after half-time but three minutes in Genki Haraguchi scored, taking Japan into the lead, but Belgium reacted seconds later with a shot that hit the post.
Japan scored again, this time from Takashi Inui, who smashed it in from 25 yards to give his team a 2-0 lead.
But Belgium came back with two goals in five minutes to level the scores.
And the winning goal came from Chadli in the last few seconds of the game which made for unbelievable scenes all over the world.
Sure, it was an pretty spectacular display from both sides, but it was definitely Japan's amazing attitude after the final whistle blew that proved most impressive.
Belgian players could also be seen consoling the devastated Japanese team after the difficult game, which was another pretty inspirational sight for the world to see.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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