Published: Wed, July 04, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Japan leaves spotless locker room, thank-you note

Japan leaves spotless locker room, thank-you note

With Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi both eliminated from the World Cup on Saturday, this tournament now has a superstar void.

Hazard will lead his side out against Japan on Monday night in the last 16, ready to write his name into history books.

He will nearly certainly be replaced by Manchester City's Fernandinho, another favorite of Brazil manager Tite, who has played some part in every Brazil game at this year's World Cup.

"I just want to thank my team mates".

"Personally, I like to play, and sometimes when I stop I'm not as good in the following match".

"To be fair we were thinking two years ago against Wales", Hazard told a news conference.

"I don't think it is really useful to practise for a penalty shootout", he added, saying it was impossible to recreate the pressure players would feel in a real penalty situation.

Despite advancing out of the group stage in the previous six World Cups, Mexico has failed to reach the quarterfinal in any of those tournaments.

"I'm so frustrated", 32-year-old Ryota Iwakiri said bitterly, trying to comprehend the sudden collapse, as others around him tried to hold back tears. "We have top players, and we play as a group.

This is our third time in the last 16 and we have been very tactical in our approach", Nishino said. Japan too had entered the knock-out round in 2002 and 2010.

"There aren't many World Cup games where you come from 2-0 down to win".

Even FIFA's official World Cup account highlighted the Japanese contribution to the tournament in a tweet after the team's elimination. "We know we have quality and collectiveness to beat them, but we also know that it will not be easy". "'Today is about the players" desire of wanting to win and it was an incredible achievement'.

In a display of character and true sportsmanship, Japanese fans won hearts all over the world for staying back after games to help stadium workers clear trash from the stands all through FIFA World Cup 2018.

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