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  • World Cup fever mounts for Germany-Argentina clash
    World Cup fever mounts for Germany-Argentina clash Frontier
    Frontier on Sunday, July 13, 2014
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    A global fever built up 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 Argentines 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 at 4:00 pm (1900 GMT) 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 Argentines were expected to pack the Plaza San Martin in Buenos Aires, which was drenched by heavy rain on Saturday.

    The football fiesta has turned into a global party with World
    Cup events organized in virtually every country. One Bangladesh
    farmer made a 3.5 kilometer (2.2 mile) long German flag which is
    surrounding a stadium in the western Bangladesh town of Magura.

    Germany start as favourites to win the trophy and become the
    first European side to win a World Cup in the Americas.

    A victory for Argentina would give its captain Messi his first World Cup and elevate the four-time world footballer of the year among the game's greats such as fellow Argentine Diego Maradona and Brazil's Pele.

    "Tomorrow, we will play the most important match of our lives
    for our country," Messi wrote in a message on his official Facebook page late Saturday.

    "My dreams and my hopes are being fulfilled due to the hard work and sacrifice of a team that has given everything from match one.

    "We knew it was possible. Our people, the Argentines, they have carried us here. But the dream is not over yet. Tomorrow we want to win, and we are ready!"

    Argentina's coach Alejandro Sabella said the South Americans
    will have to produce a perfect game to overcome the talented
    Germans.

    "Germany are always very strong physically and tactically. For that reason they are the team that has won most titles along with Brazil and Italy.

    "They use the ball very well and play the ball between the lines. They also use the space behind full-backs very well, especially with (Philipp) Lahm. We have to play a perfect match."
    - Germany eyes historic win -

    Germany coach Joachim Loew believes his team is ready to claim a place in history as they attempt to end a run of four major tournaments where they have reached either the semi-finals or the final only to fall short.

    "Regardless of what has happened in the past, it is a matter
    of winning now and we know we can write history, because Latin
    American sides have been able to dominate on home soil," said
    Loew.

    Brazilian authorities are preparing their biggest ever security operation for the final with about 25,800 police, soldiers and private security guards on duty in the city and at the Maracana.

    Russia's President Vladimir Putin, whose country will host
    the 2018 World Cup finals, will join Brazil's President Dilma
    Rousseff for the game.

    In a bid to avoid violence, bars around the Maracana stadium
    will be ordered to stop selling alcohol two hours before Sunday's
    match. Police blockades around the stadium were in place on
    Saturday.

    Brazil is basking in the glow of one of the best World Cups
    in history despite the humiliation of its national side, who were
    beaten again in the third place playoff 3-0 by Netherlands.

    Brazil captain Thiago Silva issued a new apology to the nation after the defeat through a penalty by Robin van Persie and goals by Daley Blind and Georginio Wijnaldum.

    Brazil fans were devastated by the second big home defeat in
    five days.

    "It is a moment of great sadness, because we tried everything
    and didn't get the outcome we dreamed of. It is difficult to go
    home and say to your family: 'Sorry, I didn't manage it',"
    declared Silva.

    Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said he was leaving his fate up to
    the Brazilian federation.
                               
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