12 Jul 2010

Excitement building ahead of World Cup final

6:39 am on 12 July 2010

Excitement has been building in Johannesburg with hordes of Dutch and Spanish fans roaming the streets ahead of a mouth-watering climax of Africa's first World Cup between the tournament's two most impressive teams.

The best World Cup games often come in the semi-finals but Spain and the Netherlands are seen as the pick of the bunch here technically, tactically and temperamentally.

It is a final of firsts in addition to the location.

Neither side has won the World Cup despite their undoubted quality, and Europe will win its first trophy on another continent.

Thousands of Dutch fans dressed in orange and Spaniards in red have competed to see who can sing the loudest, drink the most and wear the silliest outfits, with South Africans joining the party, bursting with pride at hosting a successful tournament.

Huge crowds will watch the match at open air venues in their home countries with up to 100,000 expected in central Amsterdam, which is bedecked in orange flags and banners.

A world-wide television audience of more than 700 million is expected to watch.

Sunday's final is a first for Spain and a third for the Dutch, who were runners up in 1974 and 1978.