Louis van Gaal has been critical of the need for a third-place play-off. (©GettyImages).

Top 5: World Cup third-place playoffs (1)

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With the third-place play-off in Brazil fast approaching, the fixture – and its place in the World Cup – has been brought into question, particularly by Netherlands coach, Louis van Gaal.

The newly-appointed Manchester United boss has criticised the necessity of a match between the two losers at the semi-final stage.

And many people may agree with the 62-year-old’s opinion that definitively deciding the third best side in the world is insignificant next to the crowning the world champions.

Nevertheless, for the time being at least, we are stuck with a third-place play-off.

Whilst players and coaches dread having to participate in another match following their elimination, fans can still hope to enjoy another scintillating game of football.

Aficionados of the beautiful game have been spoilt with the standard of football in show in South America, and there is hope that Saturday’s contest between hosts, Brazil, and the Netherlands can provide more memorable moments from this year’s competition.

There is a rich history of the fixture throwing up some great spectacles down the years as well.

Since the second ever World Cup in 1934, there has been a third-place play-off, which means more to some nations than others.

But to whet your appetite and build your excitement for Brazil versus the Netherlands, here is a look at the top five third-place play-offs in World Cup history.

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