Japanese players leave dressing room spotless after shock World Cup win over Germany

Yoshida Maya L and Kawashima Eiji of Japan celebrate after the Group E match between Germany and Japan at the 2022 FIFA World Cup at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Nov. 23, 2022. (Photo by Pan Yulong/Xinhua via Getty Images)
Japan's players have impressed both on and off the pitch. (Getty Images)

Fifa heaped praise on Japan’s players for leaving their dressing room ‘spotless’ after their shock World Cup win over Germany on Wednesday.

Following their come-from-behind 2-1 victory over the Germans, Japan then impressed off the pitch by cleaning up their changing facilities at the Khalifa International Stadium.

In a picture shared by Fifa, the Japanese squad left a neat area of folded towels and water bottles, as well as origami paper cranes, a symbol of peace in Japan. They accompanied the scene with a 'thank you' note, written in Japanese and Arabic.

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Posting the image on social media, Fifa wrote: “After an historic victory against Germany at the #FIFAWorldCup on Match Day 4, Japan fans cleaned up their rubbish in the stadium, whilst the @jfa_samuraiblue left their changing room at Khalifa International Stadium like this. Spotless.”

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The world governing body signed off with, "Domo arigato", which means "thank you very much" in Japanese.

It followed more scenes of Japanese fans cleaning up their litter at the Khalifa stadium, as they did when attending the opening match of the World Cup between hosts Qatar and Ecuador – despite their team not even playing.

This isn't the first time that Japanese fans have carried out post-match cleanliness.

In 2014, Japan lost its World Cup opener 2-1 to Ivory Coast, but that didn’t stop fans from cleaning the stadium before they left.

At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, fans were also seen cleaning stadiums, while the squad left their changing room spotless.

DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 23: Ritsu Doan #8 of Japan celebrates with team mates after scoring his team's first goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match between Germany and Japan at Khalifa International Stadium on November 23, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Wu Zhizhao/VCG via Getty Images)
Ritsu Doan celebrates after scoring his team's first goal against Germany. (Photo Getty Images)

Japan are well known for being courteous in other sports. At the London 2012 Olympics, Japan’s hockey players would bow to the pitch pre-match, while at the 2018 women’s World Cup in London, volunteers praised the Japan squad for also leaving the dressing rooms spotless.

This may not be the last time we see Japan’s fans going the extra mile in Qatar if they keep their form from the opening match.

Read more: Why is there so much stoppage time at the Qatar World Cup?

Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu said that his team are now reaching ‘global standard’ after substitutes Ritsu Doan and Takuma Asano scored late goals to upset Germany.

He said. “We are showing our capability from Asian football. They have a wonderful goalkeeper however, our players were very intelligent.

Japan next play Costa Rica on Sunday, with victory taking them through to the knockout stages.

Watch: Japan fans clean stadium after opening World Cup match