Colombian singer Shakira performs during a closing ceremony. Photo: AFP
Rio de Janeiro: From Buenos Aires to the Brandenburg Gate, millions of people have joined the party to celebrate the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina in Brazil.
In Rio de Janeiro, the party was in full swing hours before kickoff, with football fans flocking to Copacabana Beach and flooding the city's bars and restaurants ahead of the final.
A massive security operation was in force outside the famous Maracana Stadium, where 10 heads of state were attending the match along with nearly 75,000 fans.
Argentine fans show their colours in Rio ahead of the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium. Photo: Damien Meyer
Although the host nation fell short of the main event, Brazil still managed to pick itself up for the massive carnival, with celebrations taking place across the country, from the favelas to the Amazon.
A tournament that has exceeded everyone's expectations and been widely deemed to be the best ever World Cup, was readying itself for a game that had all the makings of a classic between two great European and South American heavyweights.
Germany and Argentina have played each other in two previous World Cup finals, Argentina winning 3-2 in Mexico City in 1986 and Germany triumphing 1-0 in Rome four years later.
German fans find their voices outside Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Damien Meyer
After a week of rain, Mother Nature was looking kindly on the biggest single sporting event in the world, leaving Rio bathed in sunshine in the lead-up to the match as fans began to make their way towards the stadium.
"We are really excited and it is great," said Germany fan Elke Dambeck. "The weather is brilliant and now we just have to play like we did against Brazil, then it will all be fine."
Another Germany supporter, who identified herself only as Stephanie, said it was a once in a lifetime experience.
World Cup final celebrations in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo: Joe Raedle
"Unbelievable, I don't think I will be able to believe I was here until I get home and see the photos," she said.
"You only have this much luck once in your life and we are lucky enough to be here today."
Jubilant mood takes over Rio
Argentina fans were also in jubilant mood, chanting songs and joining in with supporters from all over the world, sipping on caipirinha cocktails.
"I hope that we win," said Diego. "I don't like to talk about possible goals, I just want Argentina to win. That's all I want."
Another fan, Horacio, added: "I made a lot of sacrifices to be here and I hope that the players will put in the same effort on the field so that Argentina are champions again."
While the festivities in the samba nation were infectious, Brazilian security were keeping a close eye on everything.
Thousands of police, including many on horseback, were stationed at key areas across the city, with the streets around the Maracana cordoned off.
Helicopters were flying overhead while riot police were on standby in case of any trouble with the guest list for the match including presidents from around the world, including Brazil's Dilma Rousseff, Russia's Vladimir Putin, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, and South African President Jacob Zuma.
Colombian pop star Shakira headlined the lavish pre-match ceremony, along with Mexican guitarist Carlos Santana and Brazilian singer Ivete Sangalo.