BERLIN – Crowds were already gathering at the German capital's famous Brandenburg Gate six hours before the World Cup final kicked off between Germany and Argentina.
A heavy rain shower sent fans scampering for cover but a crowd re-emerged in greater numbers to watch the game in front of giant TV screens. Up to 100,000 football fans were expected at the "fan mile" alone.
Other public viewing venues were also filling up, despite the likelihood of heavy rain across the country. Showers and summer storms were expected to move in from the southwest.
Germany is bidding to win its fourth World Cup title, its first as a reunified country.
West Germany's triumph in 1990 came several months after the fall of the Berlin Wall, which passed in front of the Brandenburg Gate.