Japan internationals Keisuke Honda and Makoto Hasebe retire

Japan internationals Keisuke Honda and Makoto Hasebe retire

However, despite the devastatingly cruel blow, numerous fans remained in the stadium after the match had ended to help tidy up - still swaddled in their patriotic outfits. This year was only the second time in history that the team made it through the group stages to the final sixteen.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, the two great individuals of the last decade, have gone home, their hopes of ever winning the World Cup probably over.

So, about Belgium vs. Japan.

"We are just focused on this game".

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Alexis Sanchez wants Belgium to win the World Cup due to the presence of friend and team-mate Romelu Lukaku.

Following their World Cup exit, Honda said: "Today we showed how we can proceed as Japanese football".

"The group is in a very good moment, mentally and physically", he said. The disappointment was obvious, with some of the players falling on their knees in despair after the final whistle, while others just cried.

"When you play against Brazil, you need to accept they are the best team in the competition, you need to accept your role", said Martinez after beating the Japanese in the last 16.

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The World Cup continues without Japan on Wednesday, as Sweden knocked out Switzerland and England and Colombia prepared to play.

"We are talking every day on WhatsApp, we go everywhere together [in England], we talk about what the team lacks".

"We know what to do and not what to do".

The Belgian, who recently signed a new two year contract at Manchester United, was introduced in the second half with his country trailing by two goals.

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"Japan is totally different to Wales (the side that eliminated Belgium from the 2016 Euros), and we'll take this as seriously as possible".

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