Friday, July 07, 2006

3rd place game, why it is worth playing

This Saturday we will have an appetizer prior to the Sunday world cup finals. The host Germans will face Big Phil and his merry Portugese. Is this game worth playing? One team will end their World Cup run with two straight defeats?

I say that yes, this game remains valuable.

  • It gives teams the opportunity to play members of the team that might have never seen the field. Still an amazing experience for players to step on a world cup field.
  • The third place game gives team opportunities to get another game together against a quality side. National teams need friendlies to get ready for big tournaments and qualifiers, games such as this give invaluable experience to these teams, much better than a mid season friendly.
  • Why not, give football fans who wait four years for the World Cup an extra game!
Some thoughts about this game. I think it will be a more intense 3rd place games than others, mainly because of the host being present. Germany will want to exit their World Cup with a victory. Portugal will not roll over, with Figo most likely ending his international career after Saturday, the Portugese will be highly motivated to end his career on a high. Additionally, they want to match the 1966 Portugese team that finished third in that world cup beating the Soviet Union. The great Eusebio ending that tournament as high scorer, and cementing his place in Portugese football lore.

Additionally both teams will look at this game as a launching points for the 2 years of qualifying for the Euro 2008.

I look for an open, flowing game.

Prediction - Portugal 3, Germany 2.

Ronaldo (2), Figo
Klose, Podolski

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