Van Gaal criticises third-place play-off

Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal has questioned the need for a third-place play-off at the FIFA World Cup.

Van Gaal's men will go head to head with hosts Brazil for the questionable honour of finishing third in Brasilia on Saturday, with both sides licking their wounds after semi-final defeats to Germany and Argentina respectively.

For Brazil, the match offers a chance to salvage some pride after a 7-1 drubbing in the last four, but Van Gaal, who saw his side edged out on penalties on Wednesday, feels this weekend's opening fixture is pointless.

"I think this match should never be played and I've been saying this for 10 years," he said. "It is unfair we have one day less to recover than our opponent, so that is not fair play either.

"But the worst thing is I believe that the chances are that you lose twice in a row.

"And, in a tournament in which you've played so marvellously well, you would go home as a loser just because you could possibly have lost the last two matches, and this has got nothing to do with sports in my view.

"So in a football tournament, particularly not at the last stage, you shouldn't have players playing a match for third-fourth place. Because there is only one award that counts and that is becoming world champion."