Fans wait eagerly for WC kick-off

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Football fans in Munich woke up on Friday morning eagerly awaiting the start of the World Cup.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:34 IST
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Football fans in Munich woke up on Friday morning eagerly awaiting the start of the World Cup. Germany and Costa Rica get the 64-match competition underway at the futuristic Allianz Arena and the Germans are hoping they can recreate the magic that was there 32 years ago. That was when West Germany won the 10th World Cup in Munich. For the fans, Friday's kick off brings an end to months of expectation and anticipation. "I am an absolute football fan, always have been. In my company for example, most people are going to finish at three o'clock, just so we will not miss the opening," says one fan. "One has got to be there, otherwise one will have nothing to talk about as the only subject for the next couple of weeks will be football," he adds. Germany start what they hope will be the march to a fourth world title, and with captain Michael Ballack declaring himself fit to play, it's no surprise that the fans are quite optimistic of the team's chances. "I think tonight we will win 2-0. We will reach the semi finals at least," says another German supporter. Meanwhile, favourites Brazil trained amidst a carnival like atmosphere in a small town near Frankfurt. Around 25,000 people packed the ground and another 10,000 were waiting outside to watch the five-time world champions work out an open training session. A young boy, however, was not satisfied watching his heroes from the stands and broke the security barrier to get an autograph from Roanldinho before being escorted out by the club staff.

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