Last Updated: Saturday, July 12, 2014, 13:39
The Netherlands will be up against the host nation Brazil in today`s match for the third place, whereas, Argentina and Germany will lock horns in the final, scheduled to take place on Sunday. In an exclusive chat with Aditi Tyagi of Zee Media, former Indian skipper Baichung Bhutia said that Brazil would be under immense pressure during the match against Netherlands after humiliating defeat of 1-7 from the hands of Germany in the semi-finals. He also felt that Lionel Messi must be exhausted physically and mentally.
Excerpts from the conversation: According to Lionel Messi`s father, his son is looking tired...Do you also feel the same? If yes, then is he physically tired or mentally?, as expectations are all time high from the diminutive striker.
I also feel he is a bit tired. His team is in the finals after crossing all the hurdles, he must be physically tired. And being the star forward of his team, expectations are always sky high from him to help his team to win the coveted title. So he must be feeling tired mentally as well. Messi started this World Cup campaign on a good note and took his team to the knock-out round almost single-handedly. But then he didn`t perform that well in the latter stages. Do you think too much of dependency by the Argentina team might be taking a toll on Messi?
You can say that. After the group stages most of their matches went to extra time. In the quarter-finals they played for 30 extra minutes. Then against Belgium they played a physical and tiring match. Their semi-final match against Netherlands also decided through penalty shootouts. Apart from this, in between the matches, players hardy get two days break. Then too much of travelling is also there. So it`s quite exhausting. And Messi must be feeling the heat at the moment. But if we compare the distance in Kilometres, then Messi hasn`t covered that great of a distance like some other players – Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben – have covered?
If we observe Messi`s game, then he is not like someone who runs much on the field. So we can`t compare his distance with other players. He is kind of player who saves his energy and once he gets the ball he sprints with it and makes it difficult for the defenders to stop him. Once he gets the ball he shows his magical skills with it. Otherwise, when he doesn`t have the ball, you can easily find him walking on the ground. For the third spot the host nation Brazil will lock horns with Netherlands, but both the teams aren`t looking that much interested in fighting for the third place. Why is so?
In FIFA World Cup, third spot hardly matters. It`s not an Olympics, where one can get the bronze medal and which can be added to his countries overall tally. And that`s the reason why both the teams are least bothered about playing in today`s tie. But still it`s a formality. I guess in today`s match the pressure would be on the host nation as they have faced 1-7 drubbing from the hands of Germany in the semi-finals and they don`t really know how the home fans would react during the match.
First Published: Saturday, July 12, 2014, 13:39