Brazil vs Netherlands World Cup 2014: Third-place play-off was first World Cup game Wesley Sneijder has missed since 2002

Midfielder injured himself in the warm-up

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The Independent Football

Wesley Sneijder's late withdrawal from last night's third-place play-off meant he missed his first World Cup game for 12 years.

Despite being dropped by manager Louis van Gaal last year, Sneijder has forced his way back into the national side and has been ever-present for the Dutch this World Cup, starting every game.

However he started limping during the warm-up for last night's clash with hosts Brazil and was ultimately replaced by Jonathan De Guzman.

It was a blow for Sneijder who was appearing in his third World Cup for the Netherlands, and ended a run of 17 straight matches in the competition.

In fact you have to go back as far as 2002 to see a World Cup match the Netherlands have played without the midfielder.


In the end Sneijder's withdrawal didn't seem to effect the Dutch too much, as they ran out comfortable 3-0 winners over Brazil to take third place.