After Their World Cup Loss, Japan Left A Heartwarming Note In The Locker Room

No sore losers here.

On Monday, the Japanese soccer team (and their fans) demonstrated how to respectfully handle defeat. The country lost its match against Belgium, bringing their time at the World Cup to an end. But there were no sore losers to be found.

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According to Mashable, the Japanese team hung around on the field after the game to honor their fans in the stadium, who cheered for them as they bowed their heads, clearly emotional. Then, even as the stadium cleared out, Japanese fans stayed behind to pick up trash. USA Today reports that the team's fans previously went viral for cleaning up after beating Colombia earlier in the tournament. 

And the fans weren't the only ones who left things spotless. After the match, a photo appeared on social media which reportedly originated with a FIFA official. It shows that the Japanese team cleaned their locker room before they left. 

They also left a note behind on the table. It's written in Russian, and apparently reads "Spasibo," or "Thank you." It's a heartwarming show of respect for their host country, and a demonstration of true sportsmanship.

One word keeps coming up when describing Japan's World Cup behavior — class. "Get your heart broken in dramatic fashion. But still hold on tight to your values," wrote Malaysian sports writer Keeshaanan Sundaresan on Twitter. "Japan were scintillating on the pitch. Their fans are a class act, outside the pitch."

It's certainly not the first show of good sportsmanship during this year's World Cup. On opening day, fans from different countries came together to lift up a fan in a wheelchair so he could cheer for Egypt's team at the Fan Fest in Moscow. 

Winning may be fun, but some things are more important.

Cover image: Yulia Aksa / Shutterstock.com

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