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Page last updated at 07:51 GMT, Friday, 2 July 2010 08:51 UK

World Cup 2018: Okada quits role as Japan coach

Oscar Cordozo

Highlights - Paraguay beat Japan on penalties

Japan coach Takeshi Okada will resign after his side's World Cup last-16 penalty shoot-out defeat by Paraguay.

Okada guided the Blue Samurai to their best World Cup performance on foreign soil but the 53-year-old has decided to take a break from football.

"I want to get away from soccer," said Okada. "I don't think I'll work with these players again. I just wish them all the best in their careers."

The Japan Football Association hope to have a new coach in place by August.

However, JFA technical director Hiromi Hara admitted the decision to appoint Okada's successor will not be rushed.

"As the most important point, we'll see how each candidate could strengthen our national team," said Hara.


"We'd like to make a decision by taking account of not only experience but personality and passion for Japan.

"We don't want to rush anything. Things will start moving once the World Cup is over."

Japan's exit against Paraguay was confirmed when Oscar Cardozo scored the decisive spot-kick after Japan's Yuichi Komano had smashed his penalty against the crossbar, following a dour 0-0 draw.

Okada, who had targeted a place in the semi-finals, said after the game: "I don't think I have anything left to do now, probably.

"It's my responsibility, we did not insist enough.

"When I look back at what I could have done for the players and what I did as a head coach I should have been more insistent on winning."

Japan paid the price for a lack of ambition and the coach said that he took full responsibility for the team's failure.

"They represented Japan and also Asia as a whole and they played until the end so I'm proud of them," he added.

"I was not able to make them win, that's my responsibility, I did not make them eager enough."

Okada guided Japan to their debut at the World Cup finals in France in 1998, resigning after seeing his men lose all three of their group games.

He returned in December 2007 when predecessor Ivica Osim suffered a stroke.

Meanwhile, former Celtic midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura has announced his retirement from international football.

The 32-year-old, who plays for Yokohama F Marinos, made his Japan debut in February 2000 and went on to earn 98 caps, scoring 24 goals but had to be content with a place on the substitutes bench throughout the World Cup.

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see also
Japan showed courage, says coach
19 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Honda delight at Japan team unity
14 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Nakamura earns Japan squad place
01 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Japan Photo Album
28 Apr 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup day 19 photos
29 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Paraguay v Japan
26 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010

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