RIO DE JANEIRO, July 13, 2014 (AFP) - A global fever built up on Sunday ahead of the World Cup final between Lionel Messi's Argentina and a formidable German team seeking a fourth title.
As about 100,000 Argentinians poured into Rio de Janeiro, a record global television audience is expected for the finale of the 20th tournament and the result will be a landmark whichever country wins.
The game starts in the historic Maracana Stadium in front of 73,500 fans but under an unprecedented international spotlight.
With national excitement mounting after their country's 7-1 demolition of Brazil in the semi-final, up to 200,000 German fans were to pack a fan zone around the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin. Millions more were to huddle in front of screens in beer gardens, bars, sports clubs and homes across the country.
On top of huge numbers heading for Brazil, tens of thousands of Argentinians were expected to pack the Plaza San Martin in Buenos Aires.