Spaniards exploded in joy after their team reached the football World Cup final for the first time while Germany plunged into tearful misery following a semi-final defeat that ended their World Cup dream.
Spain will meet the Netherlands on Monday morning in Johannesburg's Soccer City when a new champion will be crowned from two sides who for decades have been seen as the nearly-men of international football.
The Spanish pride over their team's superb performance in beating a strong Germany side 1-0 was hailed by many as a welcome antidote to economic woes which include Europe's highest unemployment and high debt.
Thousands of fans rushed into the streets after the victory exploding fireworks, blaring their car horns or playing mock matador with flags in the traffic.
The joy of Spain contrasted with gloom in Germany where men and women wept at public viewing sites in Berlin, where 350,000 people watched, and Munich where a crowd of 50,000 shed tears at the defeat of a team from whom so much was expected.