(COMBO) This combination of photos created on July 12, 2018 shows England's striker Harry Kane in London on June 2, 2018 (L) and Belgium's forward Eden Hazard in Saint Petersburg on July 10, 2018. - Belgium will play England in their Russia 2018 World Cup play-off for third place football match at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on July 14, 2018. (Photo by Ian KINGTON and Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON,GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

5 of the Most Spectacular Third Place Playoff Games in World Cup History

In all but one of the 19 completed editions of the World Cup staged - with 1950 being the only exception - FIFA decided to contest a third-place play-off in which a pair of physically and mentally drained teams were forced to battle it out for the dubious prize of a bronze medal just days after crashing out at the penultimate hurdle. 


However, on a positive note, they do tend to be entertaining and full of drama as both sides are still eager to earn a place on the podium. 


Ahead of their meeting on Saturday, England and Belgium have both had to endure one themselves, The Red Devils lost 4-2 against France in 1986, meanwhile England lost 2-1 to hosts Italy in 1990.


Here are the five best third-place play-offs from previous World Cups. 

5. Brazil 0-3 Netherlands (2014)

Brazil's World Cup campaign came to a miserable end as the hosts were convincingly beaten by the Netherlands in the third place playoff


Goals from Robin van Persie, Daley Blind and Georginio Wijnaldum condemned Brazil to back-to-back defeats on home soil for the first time since 1940, following a humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany in the semi-final.


To add further insult after being booed off at full-time, Luiz Felipe Scolari's side failed to score in two games in a World Cup tournament for the first time since 1978.

4. Germany 3-2 Uruguay (2010)

Uruguay’s run to the last four in South America marked the start of their revival under Oscar Tabarez, who led his nation to the Copa America title in 2011 and the knockout stages of two more World Cups in 2014 and 2018 respectively. 


This was also a coming-of-age tournament for the likes of Toni Kroos, Sami Khedira, Jerome Boateng, Mesut Ozil, Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller, all of whom were prominent members of a new German generation who would go on to lift the trophy in Brazil.


To give a quick summary of the match, Muller broke the deadlock at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in the 19th minute, before Edinson Cavani levelled the scores on the half-hour mark and Diego Forlan gave Uruguay the lead after the break. Marcell Jansen restored parity within five minutes, with Khedira netting a late winner for Joachim Low's side.

3. South Korea 2-3 Turkey (2002)

Turkey won an exciting play-off match against co-hosts Korea to clinch third place at their first World Cup since 1954.


Even before kick-off, Korea Republic’s fans had set the tone, unfurling a large Turkish flag and a banner proclaiming: "We are friends!" Those supporters proved true to their kind words, cheering the names of the opposing players as well as their own as the teams were read out in Daegu.


Hakan Sukur - who endured a miserable tournament - scored the fastest ever goal in a World Cup match in 10.8 seconds to set the tone for an end-to-end encounter.


Sukur then added to his strike with two assists for Ilhan Mansiz as Turkey grabbed a 3-2 win, marking a monumental achievement in Turkish football history.

2. France 6-3 West Germany (1958)

This World Cup saw the emergence of the great Pelé, although it wasn't the Brazilian who finished top scorer - Just Fontaine scoring 13 goals to finish seven clear of the Brazilian and Helmut Rahn. 


The France striker scored four times in a third-place play-off nine goal thriller against West Germany to record one of the biggest wins at a World Cup. 


Remarkably, before the start of the tournament, Fontaine only played five times for his country to earn a starting spot in Sweden. 

1. Brazil 4-2 Sweden (1938)

Brazil took third in 1938 with a 4-2 win over Sweden, their first World Cup star Leonidas scoring twice to finish the tournament as top scorer, a bittersweet consolation after missing the semi-final defeat by Italy. 


Some insist their manager, Adhemar Pimenta, had foolishly rested Leonidas for a final that never came - though injury is the more likely cause, given the fact the striker had played some of Brazil’s first-round match against Poland on a muddy pitch with no boots, and then been battered all over the shop by Yugoslavia in the quarters.