Madrid can put two failed bids and years of frustration behind them by winning the right to host the 2020 Summer Olympics when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members vote in Buenos Aires on Saturday.
The Spanish capital looks to have a slight edge over both Istanbul,
which has put together the best and most dynamic of their five Games bids, and Tokyo, the only one of the three to have hosted the global sporting showpiece previously, in 1964.
However, all three reach the finishing line of the arduous two-year political marathon battered and bruised and with question marks over all of them.
Madrid will still have to overcome questions about the Spanish economy, Istanbul has to try and banish memories of the heavy-handed treatment of anti-government protestors in June and worries over the potential fallout from the bloody Syrian civil war.
Meanwhile, Tokyo will have to field growing concerns over the leaks from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
In strong position
Madrid, though, has shown remarkable resilience throughout the race, battling to convince members they could host the Games despite the dire state of the Spanish economy.
They seemingly achieved that goal when the IOC Evaluation Commission gave them the thumbs up for their proposed budget as, with 28 of the 35 venues already built after the failed bids for 2012 and 2016 and the infrastructure in place, there is relatively little extra expenditure.
"As the additional investment required to deliver the Games is relatively modest, the Commission believes that the Spanish economy should be able to support the delivery of the Games," read the report.