AFTER 62 matches, 167 goals, four nail-biting penalty shoot-outs and one utter humiliation, the big moment is almost here.
Thousands of football fans will cram into Hampshire pubs tomorrow for the World Cup final.
And for one group of German fans, the tension will be unbearable.
A group of exchange students have come to the city from the Ernst-Sigle school in Kornwestheim, near Stuttgart in southern Germany.
They are confident of seeing their nation’s stars, including Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil and Miroslav Klose, come out on top when they take on Argentina and Lionel Messi in the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
Kornwestheim is twinned with Eastleigh and has seen an exchange programme between Ernst-Sigle and Wildern School run for 35 years.
English teacher at Ernst-Sigle, Timo Keller, said: “After watching Holland against Argentina, I feel very positive. I did not think we would beat France and we did, and after the Brazil game, I think we can definitely make it.”
His enthusiasm was shared by the 30 pupils, as 28 of them raised their hand when asked who thought Germany would win tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Joe Khalil, landlord at The Alexandra pub in Bellevue Road, Southampton, said he was expecting a capacity crowd for the big game.
He said: “Our outdoor screen in the beer garden is a big draw and we are bringing in a DJ for afterwards so we are expecting a big crowd.
“We had Germans in for the semis and we have an Argentinian regular so there should be some good rivalry.”
One Brazilian restaurant has insisted the show must go on despite their team’s humiliating 7-1 defeat at the hands of Germany.
Casa Brasil in Latimer Street, Southampton, will hold a party that will include a Brazilian band and carnival dancing.
Manager Paulo Estiveira said: “I never thought Brazil could lose like that, but we are still holding a party.”