- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
The Netherlands are set to face Brazil in the third place match of the World Cup on Saturday, June 12, as both teams were knocked out in the semifinals. However, the Dutch do not care if they finish third or fourth after Wednesday's loss.
"I think that this match should never be played," said Dutch head coach Louis van Gaal after his team's 4-2 loss in penalties to Argentina.
The Netherlands are the best soccer nation to never have won a World Cup, and have little interest at anything besides winning the tournament outright.
"They can keep it." That's what Dutch star player Arjen Robben said after being asked how he felt about playing Brazil for the bronze, that according to The Associated Press.
The Netherlands lost in back-to-back World Cup Finals in 1974 and 1978, and also lost in the final in 2010 to Spain 1-0.
It is understandable why the Dutch do not want to play the match, as they are fresh off a defeat to Argentina in the semifinals in a game that just as easily could have gone their way. Losing to Argentina may have hurt a little bit extra, as the Washington Post has pointed out the history between the two nations.
While the Dutch seemingly have nothing to play for, Brazil does. It was very clear that anything other than winning the tournament would be seen as a failure for the host country. But by losing to Germany in the semifinal in such pathetic fashion, Brazil can use this game as a way to save face. While coming in third is not what Brazil supporters had in mind at the start of the tournament, losing their last two games does not sound great either.
Brazil can go out against the Dutch with a chip on their shoulder and try to prove their 7-1 loss to Germany was an anomaly. The Dutch will simply be using the game as a send off for van Gaal, who will be taking over as the boss of Manchester United this coming season.