Gotoku Sakai becomes third Japan star to quit after FIFA World Cup exit

At the World Cup finals in Russia, Sakai, who made 42 appearances for Japan in six years, only featured in the 1-0 defeat to Poland in the group stages.

Published: 06th July 2018 09:24 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th July 2018 09:24 PM   |  A+A-

Japan defender Gotoku Sakai | AP

By AFP

BERLIN: Defender Gotoku Sakai has become the third Japanese player to retire from international duty on the heels of the squad's heartbreaking World Cup exit following a last-gasp defeat to Belgium.

"I have always tried to support the team, but I couldn't return the trust with performances," the 27-year-old Sakai, who plays for second division German club Hamburg, told Friday's edition of newspaper Bild.

At the World Cup finals in Russia, Sakai, who made 42 appearances for Japan in six years, only featured in the 1-0 defeat to Poland in the group stages.

He joins Blue Samurai captain Makoto Hasebe, 34, and AC Milan striker Keisuke Honda, 32, who have already announced their international retirements in the last few days.

The trio stepped down in the wake of Monday's 3-2 last-minute defeat to Belgium in the last 16.

Japan crashed out after throwing away a two-goal lead in Rostov-on-Don when the Red Devils scored with the last kick of the game when Nacer Chadli finished off a counter-attack.

On Thursday, the Japanese FA confirmed that caretaker coach Akira Nishino, who only took charge 71 days before their first World Cup match, will not continue in the job.

Former Germany and USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann has been linked to the role.

Stay up to date on all the latest Football news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp