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Red or orange -- World Cup final fever mounts

Football fever -- be it red or orange -- has taken over Spain and Holland ahead of the World Cup final, with both countries desperate to lift the trophy for the first time ever.

sports Updated: Jul 10, 2010 10:17 IST

Football fever -- be it red or orange -- has taken over Spain and Holland ahead of the World Cup final, with both countries desperate to lift the trophy for the first time ever.

Win or lose, Spain is preparing for an extraordinary fiesta.

Spain's blood-red and gold colours are flying from balconies, bars and cars throughout most of the country.

Even in Catalonia, a region with its own distinct culture and language and which has traditionally been disdainful of the Spanish national team, there was growing enthusiasm.

Authorities in the Catalan capital of Barcelona agreed for the first time during the tournament to set up a giant outdoor screen for the match on Sunday.

In the northeastern town of Pamplona, the fervour over this week's annual San Fermin festival, which includes "running of the bulls", was mixed with excitement at tomorrow's World Cup final.

On Madrid's main Paseo de Castellana avenue, municipal workers have draped flags over the Cibeles and Neptune fountains, where fans of Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid respectively celebrate their victories.

At least 150,000 fans of La Roja (The Reds), as the Spanish team is known, are expected on the avenue Sunday night to watch Spain's first ever appearance in a World Cup final on giant screens in a "fan park," which has been moved for the occasion.

The screens were previously installed outside Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium, where some 50,000 watched the semi-final against Germany.

Even if Spain loses, the players will be feted in a parade in an open-top bus that will pass through the city centre on Monday.

And many companies, as usual, have spotted marketing opportunities.

As temperatures soar throughout the Spanish capital, Coca-Cola representatives are handing out red and gold fans.

Spain's Mahou beer company has launched an Internet campaign for July 11 to be named a national holiday if Spain lifts the World Cup, and the supermarket chain Carrefour is offering 25 percent reductions on television sets.

Spanish television for the first time on Friday broadcast live the prediction of Paul the "pyschic" and now famous German octopus, who has tipped Spain to win.