The Fan Mile near Berlin’s famous Brandenburg Gate was full hours before the World Cup final kicked off in Brazil between Germany and Argentina.
A heavy rain shower sent fans scampering for cover early but a crowd re-emerged in greater numbers ready to watch the game in front of giant TV screens. Police closed a number of entrances to the Fanmeile at least four hours before kick-off due to the sheer numbers of fans attending. With three hours to go, police said it was full.
It was raining persistently by this time and thunder was rumbling ominously overhead.
A spokeswoman told German news agency DPA that more than 250,000 people had crowded onto the 1.2 kilometre stretch of road through the Tiergarten area of Berlin. Crowds began gathering with around six hours to go.
Other public viewing venues were also filling up, despite the likelihood of heavy rain. Showers and summer storms were expected to move in from the south-west.
Not everyone was sup-porting Germany. A Berlin tax-driver with an Argentina flag flying from his window riled fans on Kastanienallee in Prenzlauer Berg by beeping at them as he passed.
“I’ve been cursed at and spat upon,” Cihan Goz told The Associated Press, laughing as he relayed the story. He said he was a fan of Maradona, revered among Argentines as the world’s best ever player. Coz was still picking up passengers despite the flag.