Another manager has resigned following a disappointing showing at this year's World Cup, as Japan's Alberto Zaccheroni has decided to step down.
ABC reported the news and provided the details:
Alberto Zaccheroni has stepped down as Japan coach a day after the Asian champions were eliminated in the first round of the World Cup in Brazil.
The 61-year-old Italian was unable to take the Blue Samurai into the round of 16, with its campaign ending in a 4-1 defeat to Colombia.
Zaccheroni explained the rationale behind his decision, per James Masters of CNN:
Zaccheroni resigns as manager of #JPN. ""I am the one that decided on the tactics and how we play and I want to take full responsibility."— James Masters (@Masters_JamesD) June 25, 2014
Zaccheroni 1/2: "Everyone got together at lunch today and I offered my thanks to all the people that have supported the team. #JPN— James Masters (@Masters_JamesD) June 25, 2014
Zaccheroni 2/2 continued: "I would select exactly the same players and staff if I had another chance." #JPN— James Masters (@Masters_JamesD) June 25, 2014
Japan really struggled, finishing at the bottom of Group C and only managing to earn a draw against Greece. In total, Japan managed to score two goals while conceding six. After coming into the group that included Colombia, Ivory Coast and Greece with a legitimate shot at advancing, their performance was extremely disappointing.
Zaccheroni's decision comes a day after Italy's Cesare Prandelli and the Ivory Coast's Sabri Lamouchi both stepped down after each country failed to advance to the knockout phase. Both were eliminated in particularly gutting fashion, as Italy lost to Uruguay 1-0 after going down to 10 men, while the Ivory Coast conceded a stoppage-time penalty to Greece and lost 2-1.
Those performances were disappointing for different reasons than what Japan faced, as the country never quite looked a threat after giving up a 1-0 first-half lead to the Ivory Coast in their first game (they went on to lose, 2-1).
Still, though the manager has resigned and the 2014 World Cup was a failure, the future is bright for the squad. One of the team's top stars, Shinji Kagawa, is just 25, though it remains to be seen if their most dangerous threat at this year's tournament, 28-year-old Keisuke Honda, will be the same player four years from now.
The Blue Samurai will want to put this showing behind them, and quickly. Zaccheroni certainly decided the best way to do just that was for him to step down. But don't be surprised if the former manager of AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus, among others, quickly surfaces again with another high-profile job.