Obrigado - Arigato, Japan's gestures of gratitude in Brazil's stadiums

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It had already happened at the Morumbi. Last night, they did the same at the Arena Do Gremio in Porto Alegre, after the match against Uruguay.

After 11:40 at night, the last Japanese players left the dressing room assigned to them at the Arena Do Gremio stadium in Porto Alegre, where they had achieved a 2-2 tie against Uruguay minutes earlier.

This had been a historic match for the Asians. Not only had they scored their first two goals in this, their second appearance in the CONMEBOL Copa América, but they had also earned their second point in two appearances in the tournament. The first was in 1999 in a 1-1 tie against Bolivia.

Once outside the stadium, the Japanese dressing room was ready to be cleaned. However, when people arrived at the door, which still had the Japanese flag attached to it, it could be seen three black bags full of rubbish.

Two or even three turns were given to the key in the gate by the commissioner in charge of this section of the stadium. The lights turned on and the floor was still wet. They had cleaned up.

Not a single piece of paper on the floor, the closets were completely clean, the players’ chairs were almost shining, and the clock was 23:44 hours.

The tables couldn’t be cleaner and even the CONMEBOL sign Copa América Brasil 2019, with the legend Rocking The Continent even seemed to shine.

And in the middle of it all, a board with which the Japanese coach Hajime Moriyasu gave his players instructions to face the match against the Charrúas.

Again, as they had done in the Morumbi in Sao Paulo, the Japanese delegation cleaned the dressing room, left it as they received it and left on the board written ‘Obrigado’ ‘Arigato’.

A thank you that may seem insignificant, but at the same time it shows a great gesture of kindness and respect from the Japanese team in the Brazilian stadiums and that will play its last match of the 2019 CONMEBOL Copa América Brasil against Ecuador, in the Mineirao stadium, in Belo Horizonte, on June 24.

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