After the agonising nature of their last-16 defeat by Belgium, Japan’s World Cup squad and their thousands of fans would have been forgiven for leaving the Rostov Arena as swiftly as possible.
A number of Japan players were left in tears after being knocked out of the tournament when a late, late goal from Nacer Chadli sealed a 3-2 comeback victory for Belgium.
But, as revealed by FIFA general coordinator Priscilla Janssens on Twitter, Japan’s squad went to extra lengths to thank their hosts in Russia as they bowed out.
Sharing a picture of their spotless post-match dressing room, Janssens wrote: ‘This is the Japanese dressingroom (sic) after losing to Belgium in the 94’ minute.
‘Thanked their fans in the stadium, cleaned up everything (bench and dressingroom) and spoke to media. Even left note with ‘thank you’ in Russian.
‘What an example for all teams!! Privilege to work with!’
Japan’s fans were also pictured collecting rubbish from the stands moments after watching their side crash out in the most dramatic of circumstances.