The World Cup third-place match is often viewed as an oddity. The two losing teams from the semifinals are forced to battle it out in hopes of earning third in a tournament where the first place title holder is the only one to be remembered. Even Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal thinks the match is useless, which is even more upsetting to him because Netherlands will be playing the match against Brazil.
It can be somewhat embarrassing to put two losing teams against each other to see which team is better, yet still wasn’t good enough to make it to the final.
I’d have to disagree with Van Gaal, because I actually like the third-place match and wish more tournaments implemented it. I think the third-place match gives losing teams a chance to redeem themselves. It will be a hard win for Brazil to be able to come back from a 7-1 loss to Germany and beat a mechanical Netherlands, who ended their last two matches in penalty shoot outs; however, if Brazil is able to pull it off, they will have a reason to hold its head high at the end of the World Cup in its own country.
This is why the third-place matches are important to me; teams with who lost can rightfully claim to be the third-best team in the tournament.
It’s understandable why others would disagree, because third place may not be something to be proud of, but it gives teams more to be proud of than a sad defeat in the semifinals. The Netherlands may not get as much out of it as Brazil would, but ending their final match outside of a penalty shootout could be reaffirming for the the former World Cup runners-up.
It is undeniable that the Netherlands have a strong team, but they were unable to make it to the finals this time around. One last crushing win against Brazil will give them some pride again.