Updated: 06/26/2014 04:34 | By Agence France-Presse

Zaccheroni quits after Japan World Cup flop

Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni announced his resignation on Wednesday and said he took "full responsibility" for the Asian champions' winless exit from the World Cup.


Zaccheroni quits after Japan World Cup flop

Japan's Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni addresses an official press conference at The Pantanal Arena in Cuiaba on June 23, 2014 - by Toshifumi Kitamura

Zaccheroni, 61, brought a squad full of optimism to Brazil but the Blue Samurai suffered a brutal reality check culminating in Tuesday's 4-1 rout by Colombia.

"I am disappointed and not satisfied with the results," he told a press conference at the team's base camp in Itu, Brazil, according to Kyodo news agency.

"I really wanted to take us forward and qualify for the second round and I am so disappointed. But I picked the team, decided on the tactics and how we play and I want to take full responsibility."

Japan also lost their opening game 2-1 to Ivory Coast and ground out a 0-0 draw with Greece. But it wasn't enough to send them packing as the bottom team in Group C.

"I told the players and staff that I was happy and proud to be their coach. Over the last four years I have put my heart and soul into helping this team grow," Zaccheroni said.

"I think the culture of Japanese soccer and the special characteristics and technique of the players can cut it on the world stage but physical strength is what is lacking."

"I have tried to create a team with speed and intensity and don't think the direction I tried to take the team was the wrong one. I think the team should continue on the same path it has been on for the last four years."

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