RIO DE JANEIRO
Throngs of Argentines made their way to Rio de Janeiro after their team beat the Netherlands to reach the World Cup final for the first time in 24 years.
At least 70,000 Argentines have come to Rio, according to Reuters, but most don't have hotel reservations or tickets to the championship game. They just want to be part of the excitement.
Many Argentines look forward to hoisting the World Cup on the home turf of long-time rival Brazil.
“It’s going to be hard," said Argentina fan Oscar Telle. "Statistics support Germany, but Argentinians have [star striker Lionel] Messi, their fans, and the pope. Argentina will be the champion.”
The German fans are here, too, but in smaller numbers. As Germany prepares to appear in its eighth final, fans are rooting for their team to add a fourth world title to its list of accomplishments.
"We hope to win the final against Argentina," said Germany fan Andy Taupp. "No, we don’t hope, we're going to win."
Meanwhile, Brazilians are moving past their team's devastating loss to Germany in the semi-final and leaving the partying to others.
“Now that Brazil lost the cup I have to continue doing what I always do," said Brazil fan Priscila Andrade. "They are not going to pay my bills and receipts. It’s over.”
It will all come to a head Sunday, once the ball gets rolling and the next World Cup champion is determined.