For some the third place game in this 2014 World Cup is another chance to see two of the best nations play soccer on the world stage. However, the teams from Brazil and the Netherlands have no interest in playing the match. They are obligated to play, so there will be a match featuring some of the best players that fell just short of the title game. Brazil and the Netherlands were defeated in different ways, but both were deflating. It will be hard for either team to recover.
Brazil come off the worst loss in their history with the wounds still open in the hearts of fans. The fans do not need to see their team on the field and there will be no element of recovery. Thiago Silva could return if they choose to employ a first team. Chances are good that Maxwell and Jefferson could see their first action of the World Cup. Brazil will still be playing for Neymar. Perhaps more so they are playing for their pride and to give a performance worthy of a proper send off from the fans. Luiz Felipe Scolari said his team must make this match their next goal.
Netherlands coach Louis Van Gaal is livid that his team must play in this match. He said this match has nothing to do with sports and he has been calling for the end of the third-place match for ten years. The fear for Van Gaal is that his team could lose two in a row after playing well enough to make the final four. Arjen Robben added, ”Only one prize counts and that is becoming world champion.” Van Gaal will probably go with third-choice keeper Michael Vorm thus utilizing his entire 23-player roster.
The history of this matchup is very even. Each team has won three and they have tied five times. Each team has scored 15 goals in the series. Brazil will have the advantage in mindset as it seems the Netherlands have checked out. They also had an extra day of rest and did not play extra time against Germany.
Emotions and spirit are drained from Brazil and the Netherlands, but they still have to play the match. The competition level will surely decrease from the rest of the World Cup. It is a game no one wants to be a part of on Saturday.