How can you face playing in a game that the best you can hope for is third place? If you’re the Dutch team, how can you be motivated to win when your own coach thinks the runners-up game has “nothing whatsoever to do with sports” and your star Arjen Robben has said “They can keep it” when asked if wants to win third place. Louis van Gaal is of course correct in saying they wish they could skip the match, losing two games in a row after a brilliant run through qualifiers and the tourney before losing in a shootout is a terrible way to end such a great campaign as people only remember the losses. Maybe that is just enough to keep them going for at least one more win, letting that one draw be the only black mark for a terrific team.
As for Brazilians, how do you even get out of bed let alone play a match after this week’s humiliation at the hands of the Germans? When you set all sorts of records — number of goals given up before a half in a semifinal, number of year since a competitive loss in Brazil; none of them good. The good news is you have your team captain Thiago Silva back (probably one of few examples of a captain not going down with the ship) to get the defense back in order. They can break the streak of a European team winning the third place spot for the last eight World Cups, show their countrymen all of the work in hosting the tourney wasn’t for naught and they can rally back from the depths of their despair.
A quick note for the commenter who wanted to see a third place game for the NFL, we should have remembered that such a match did exist through the 1960s and the Lions won the third place title three years in a row. Feel like the modern equivalent would be the early-2000s Philadelphia Eagles, which means we’ve lost out on three times we have made fun of Philly. If that’s not enough reason to bring back the game, then I don’t know what is.