The 3rd Place Playoff

Posted: July 10, 2010 in World Cup
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Whereas the Championship Playoff Final is The Richest Game In Football, the World Cup’s 3rd Place Playoff is arguably The Most Pointless Game In Football. So much so that we Europeans don’t bother with it at all at the Euros; if you’re out, you’re out, now fuck off home ‘cos we don’t want to see you again for four years, minimum.


Tonight’s match between two very likeable sides (IMO) has plenty on it. For starters, Miroslav Klose has one last shot at the two goals he needs to become the all-time leading World Cup scorer (an opportunity I completely forgot about when Spain beat Germany the other night). Both Mesut Ozil and Diego Forlan are up for the “Golden Ball” award which is in fact not one of David Beckham’s testicles, cryogenically frozen and presented in an ornate wooden box, but the award for the best player at the tournament. David Villa will presumably clean that up whatever happens so Forlan might be better off setting his sights on a couple of goals that would put him in with a good shout of winning the Golden Boot, which is a far-more talked-about achievement.

That and Luis Suarez is likely to be playing, and he is Public Enemy No.1 in Africa right now. I’d say “expect some abuse” but the likelihood of being able to distinguish booing from a vuvuzela is pretty slim.

I have reasonable memories of the 3rd Place Playoff. In 2002 Hakan Sukur scored the fastest goal in the history of the World Cup (11 seconds if I recall), and then four years ago everyone was delighted to see Germany smash Portugal after the whole world had surprisingly turned on Cristiano Ronaldo for his “winker” effort against England. I say surprisingly because a) England were shit in that World Cup as well, and b) it wasn’t Ronaldo’s wink that made the ref send off Rooney for stamping on Carvalho’s balls. But anyway, 2010 and Germany have a chance to beat another team containing someone who a lot of neutrals think is a bit of  a wanker, justified or no.

On to the final then, which in contrast to the 3PP is played between two teams that I don’t like. All I hope for is that both teams score – if Holland got the first goal it would be interesting to see how/if Spain react. If Holland got an equaliser, see above.

Of course, Paul the Octopus has called a Spanish win, so lump on 1-0.


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