Japan’s dejected players followed the lead of their fans by clearing up after themselves following Monday night’s World Cup last-16 defeat to Belgium. The Samurai Blue were involved in a thrilling clash, taking a two-goal lead in Rostov, but were undone by one of the great World Cup comebacks as Jan Vertonghen, Marouane Fellaini and Nacer Chadli all netted in the final 20 minutes. Japan’s players were heartbroken afterwards, having been so close to setting up a quarter-final clash with Brazil.
Likewise, the fans in the stadium had tears streaming down their faces when the full-time whistle was blown – though that did not stop them from cleaning up the Rostov Arena afterwards. The Japanese fans have made a name for themselves for their good manners, also cleaning up the stands after beating Colombia, as well as doing the same thing four years ago in Brazil.
Their good etiquette has rubbed off on other fans, with fellow Group H side Senegal also picking up trash after the game. And that attitude extends to the team too; although there were plenty of tears after the defeat to Belgium, the players still opted to tidy up after themselves in the changing room.
They even left a note in Russian that simply read ‘Thank You’, ensuring that they leave the World Cup having won plenty admirers for their conduct both on and off the pitch.