Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal, one of the coaching stars of the World Cup, ripped the existence of the third-place game after losing to Argentina in the semifinals on Wednesday night.
The Netherlands will play Brazil in the match in Brasilia on Saturday.
Van Gaal isn’t a fan (via Yahoo!):
“I think that this match should never be played. I have been saying this for the past 10 years.
“We will just have to play the game but it is unfair. We will have one day less to recover and that’s not fair play. But the worst thing is, I believe, there is a chance that you lose twice in a row in a tournament in which you’ve played so marvelously well. You go home as a ‘loser’ because possibly you’ve lost the last two matches.”
Van Gaal has one foot out the door anyway. He will take over Manchester United once the Netherlands are done in Brazil. Just 11 days after Saturday’s third-place game, he’ll be back on the sidelines in Los Angeles for United’s friendly against the Galaxy.
The third-place game has been around since 1934. But back then there were only 16 teams in the tournament and international matches between teams from different continents were rare. In the modern game, the game is essentially a money grab, as the Telegraph’s Henry Winter point out.
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