Alberto Zaccheroni has joined the list of managers who have stepped down from their role after a disappointing World Cup. The World Cup has already seen the exit of managers like Cesare Prandelli and Fernando Santos. Ottmar Hitzfeld has announced his resignation after the end of the tournament. Zaccheroni, who has been widely tipped to return to Europe in club football in the last few months, has also decided to step down from his post after Japan failed to make it into the knockout stages of the World Cup 2014.
Japan came into the tournament as one of the top teams from Asia. Despite being in a relatively winnable group that contained the likes of Colombia and Ivory Coast, Japan finished bottom of the group after having taken no wins in the three matches. They only managed a 0-0 draw with Greece, while the matches against Ivory Coast and Colombia finished as 2-1 and 4-1 defeat respectively. Everything that could go wrong for Japan and the tournament went against them, as they conceded lots of goals without scoring many in reply.
Zaccheroni has accepted the blame for this poor showing and has announced his resignation. He is widely expected to return to Italian football with a club job. “I am the one that decided on the tactics and how we play and I want to take full responsibility. Everyone got together at lunch today and I offered my thanks to all the people that have supported the team. I would select exactly the same players and staff if I had another chance,” said Zaccheroni. He led Japan to the Asian cup title recently.
The national team will be coming back together to defend this trophy, which will be hosted by Australia in January. Japan are yet to announce a successor for Zaccheroni.