Japan Players Cleaned Up Their Changing Room After World Cup Elimination
This article first appeared on July 3rd.
Just when you think this World Cup can't possibly deliver anything else it goes and produces a match like Belgium vs Japan which gave us a great story on the pitch and a wonderfully wholesome story off it.
Sunday's football gave us Russia's shock win over Spain on penalties which was followed up with Croatia's incredibly dramatic shootout win over Denmark where the two keepers saved six penalties between them in the match.
Brazil vs Mexico gave us a bit of a breather as the South American's made it a pretty simple win in the end, even if Neymar managed to produce one of the most ridiculous moments of the tournament.
And then we got Belgium and Japan with the Europeans expected to saunter through. Instead Japan took a 2-0 lead with two goals in the opening seven minutes of the second half and another of the big sides was staring down the barrel.
In dramatic circumstances Roberto Martinez' side turned it round with Nacer Chadli getting a 94th minute winner to knock Japan out in cruel circumstances.
Japan deserved a lot of credit for the way they played but after the match they got even more credit for leaving their changing room spotless and with a note of thanks to Russia:
And it wasn't just the players who deserve to take a bow for their cleanliness as the fans were also cleaning up the mess they made in the stadium after full time:
This definitely makes up for any hate for the east Asians after their tactics to qualify from the groups of just not getting any bookings against Poland caused some ire amongst fans.
Fair play to Japan, so unlucky not to win and so gracious in defeat.
Let's just hope everyone remembers to clean up when the rugby World Cup is over there in October 2019.