I hate to burst the bubble of Brazil fans and South Americans looking forward to watching Saturday’s Third Place Final between Netherlands and Brazil, but most of the world couldn’t care about the game.
The game is a glorified friendly, and it always has been and always will.
In future years, few people will remember who finished third in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Winning a third place medal has little to no meaning to the footballers or the majority of soccer fans.
For Brazil, today, it’s a chance to finish the tournament on a positive note, and to try to finish the tournament with their heads held high.
For Netherlands, it’s a game that doesn’t mean anything. The footballers will not want to get injured for the upcoming club season, so you’re not going to see the committed tackles you would normally see in a typical World Cup game. Plus, you’re likely to see some players start today that haven’t had much playing time this tournament.
Here are the thoughts of Netherlands manager Louis Van Gaal regarding today’s game:
”I think that this match should never be played.
I’ve been saying this for 10 years. But anyway, we will just have to play that match.”
Netherlands star striker Arjen Robben was asked how he felt about playing in the Third Place Final. He responded:
”They can keep it.
“Only one prize counts and that is becoming world champion.”
I agree with both Robben and Van Gaal.
I’ll be watching the Third Place game because I love soccer and it’s my job, but it’s one of those games that are completely meaningless. The result means nothing. Yet, FIFA continues to play the game every four years.
The Third Place Final kicks off at 4pm ET today between Netherlands and Brazil on ESPN and Univision.