In arguably the greatest World Cup ever, the five week adventure that is the grand global tournament in Brazil has now concluded.
Now in a fitting conclusion that saw a resilient and mentally strong German side win their fourth world championship (and first as a unified national side), we've put together a final team of the tournament that represents the best starting XI.
After being thrashed 7-1 by Germany earlier this week, Brazil went into the Third Place Final hoping for a victory to wipe away the pain of being obliterated by the Germans. However, the performance was just as weak, as Brazil crashed out of the tournament, losing 3-0 to the Netherlands.
Netherlands vs Brazil 2014 World Cup Highlights Goals Van Persie penalty Wijnaldum 3-0 Video is a post from Soccer Blogger. Follow Soccer Blogger on Twitter
Netherlands vs Brazil 2014 World Cup Highlights Goals Van Persie penalty Wijnaldum 3-0 Video is a post from Soccer Blogger. Follow Soccer Blogger on Twitter Netherlands vs Brazil 2014 (Holland Brasil VIDEO BELOW) Estadio Nacional de Brasilia, Brasilia- 12 July, 2014- World Cup 3rd Place playoff- 12/7/14- 21.
I hate to burst the bubble of Brazil fans and South Americans looking forward to watching Saturday's Third Place Final between Netherlands and Brazil, but most of the world couldn't care about the game.
The game is a glorified friendly, and it always has been and always will.
In future years, few people will remember who finished third in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Throwback Video- Brazil 1 Netherlands 2 2010 World Cup Highlights & Wesley Sneijder Goals is a post from Soccer Blogger. Follow Soccer Blogger on Twitter
Throwback Video- Brazil 1 Netherlands 2 2010 World Cup Highlights & Wesley Sneijder Goals is a post from Soccer Blogger. Follow Soccer Blogger on Twitter Brazil Netherlands 1:2 World Cup 2010 Video HIGHLIGHTS BELOW Brazil and the Netherlands will compete in the third place playoff of the 2014 World Cup on Saturday.
Germany: 7 - Brazil: 1 Wow. I'm still not sure I saw what I saw. Germany ripped Brazil to shreds with 4 goals in 6 minutes. At times the goals looked like a German player playing a video game against a weak CPU team controlling the Brazilians. Complete domination.
Argentina: 0 (4) - Netherlands: 0 (2) Two contrasting games.
Start with a bang, end with a sigh. In the penalty shootout defeat to Argentina in the semi-final the Netherlands can be proud they managed to contain the opposition defensively without so many fouls this time but were again found wanting when the ball crossed the halfway line.
Given their group, the indifferent form of key players (bar Arjen Robben), the relative youth of the squad, and arched eyebrows cast at the posturing of Louis Van Gaal, it's difficult to look back and pinpoint exactly what the expectations were when the tournament began.
The second semifinal of the 2014 World Cup was an opposite of the first. Where the first match had precision, space, and inventiveness the second was tight, tentative, and largely predictable. The first forty five minutes of the first semi final saw five goals in the net, the second semifinal had zero goals in 90 minutes.
Netherlands vs Argentina 2014 Highlights World Cup Penalties Video 2-4 Semifinal is a post from Soccer Blogger. Follow Soccer Blogger on Twitter
Netherlands vs Argentina 2014 Highlights World Cup Penalties Video 2-4 Semifinal is a post from Soccer Blogger. Follow Soccer Blogger on Twitter Netherlands vs Argentina 2014 (Holland Argentina VIDEO BELOW) Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo- 9 July, 2014- World Cup Semifinal- 9/7/14- 21.
Following last night's catastrophic display by Brazil, Argentina are the only South American representative remaining in the tournament. They will want to maintain that status after today's game against the Netherlands.
Where to watch -
The game kicks off at 4 PM EST/1 PM PST, and this is where viewers in USA can catch the game -
Yesterday Germany got their revenge for 2002 World Cup Final loss to Brazil in spades. Today we get a rematch of the 1978 Final between Holland and Argentina. Their newspapers today reveal two nations focused on different emotions; the Dutch are joyful but nervous while the Argentines are reveling in schadenfreude at their neighbor's nadir almost to the point of ignoring today's match.
Battle of the Victorious: Can Messi still make the difference without his main outlet? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Argentina's game is based around Messi, much like Brazil's was around Neymar and we all know how that worked out for them yesterday with him injured. Argentinahaven't suffered the same curse of being without their main man, but they do have asimilarity in that they are without another key player, Angel Di Maria, much like Brazil were also without Thiago Silva.
The Netherlands and Argentina are two nations that will feel as though they've never quite fulfilled their potential on the international stage. They're teams that have boasted some of the greatest players to have ever played the game and yet they have only won two World Cups between them.
Nonetheless they do have an illustrious history when it comes to the World Cup and have played out some contests that have been rife with iconic moments.
If last night was the most shockingly one-sided result in this World Cup, then tonight's semi-final should prove to be a much more tight and evenly matched affair.
It would be astonishing to see such a one-sided game as we witnessed in Belo Horizonte yesterday, but Argentina must be wary of that sensational Dutch performance against Spain in the opening days of the tournament in order to avoid a repeat of the Brazilian capitulation to the efficiency and ruthlessness of the Germans.
With Brazil's shocking crash and burn in the semifinal round, it looks all the more like this may be Argentina's World Cup. The factoid has been repeated plenty of times: No European team has ever won a World Cup in South America.
Idealism laced with a liberal dose of reality seems to be what Louis van Gaal has injected into the veins of his Dutch players in this World Cup.
There are still the traces of 'Dutchness' in the crisp movement of the ball, the patience, the positioning and efficiency but this is laced with the practical knowledge that ideals and emotion don't always win games or trophies.
Too many people will be saying this for years to come: this is the worst Brazil side in history. I really thought that it could not get any lower than the 1-7 loss. While they may "only" have lost 0-3, the lack of commitment, belief, ideas, not to say a complete lack of basic defensive skills, were appalling to watch.
Netherlands and Brazil will be facing none another in the unnecessary fight for third place in this year's world cup. For both sides this is a huge disappointment considering their expectations before the tournament, but they can really blame nobody else. Brazil is there after crashing wildly on the expectations and their lack of preparation and focus.
Denmark did not qualify to the World Cup, but this has not dented world cup fever in this small Scandinavian country. In fact, it is nice to see the world cup with fans without a dog in the fight, who nevertheless understand the passion and enjoy to discuss the game.On top of all this, it was a lovely sunny day in Copenhagen; one of those days where the streets are full of music, beer drinking,
Wake up...actually, no. As you were. (washingtonpost.com)
Whereas yesterday will be remembered forever, today's semifinal was one we would like to forget we ever bothered with just about as soon as it was over. Argentina were once again a mess in attack, and the Dutch didn't even bother until the 85th minute and only then because the Argentines forgot Robben doesn't touch the ball with his right foot.
Wait, I thought Uruguay was out? (huffingtonpost.com)
Surprisingly, FIFA hasn't stopped the tournament and declared Germany the World champions. So there'll be a few more games. Austin Fido previews Argentina vs. Netherlands, the second semifinal...
The tournament rules demand someone step forward to play Germany at the weekend, so we're going to have to see things through despite the temptation (too strong to resist in some cases) to cast the Germans as the most perfect incarnation of football since.
World Cup Roundup: Beaten Van Gaal claims he 'taught' Argentina keeper penalty moves - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Louis van Gaal: 'I taught Argentina keeper how to stoppenalties'
Soccerlens Third Place Play-Off Prediction
Dutch coach fuming after being undone by former pupil in World Cup semi-final
Louis van Gaal, beaten World Cup semi-finalist, has claimed that Argentina heroSergio Romero has him to thank for his penalty-saving antics, with the 27-year-old keeping out two spot-kicks in the dramatic shootout win that sent the South Americans to the final.
Good evening, sports fans! I guess the first quiestion that I have to ask is this: have you recovered from last night? I certainly haven't, and will return to the subject once last time in order to briefly mention that we will most likely remember where we were yesterday evening for the rest of our lives.
Brazil vs Netherlands: Preview, Possible Lineups & Prediction - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Brazil and the Netherlands are the unlucky losers who have to play out a match that you can't imagine any of the playing or coaching staff want to participate in, just to decide who officially finishes third at the 2014 World Cup.