Spain was awash with the red and gold national colours and exhuberant fans were gathering in blistering heat in outdoor "fan parks" as the country geared up for its first ever appearance in a FIFA World Cup™ final.

"The day of our dreams has arrived," said the sports newspaper Marca. "You can do it!" declared another sports daily, AS, over a picture of the team. "Espana!" was the one-word headline in the Madrid daily ABC over a picture of the Spanish flag that covered both the front and back pages.

Police closed a one-kilometre stretch of Madrid's main avenue, the Paseo de Castellana, where three massive screens, one of them 60 square metres, were set up to broadcast the match. Some 150,000 supporters of La Roja were expected at the fan park in the capital for a fiesta that, whatever the result, was expected to last all night.

The day of our dreams has arrived.

Spanish sports newspaper Marca

Others were gathering in bars or at home for the match, which was expected to leave the country paralysed from the kick-off. Thousands of fans poured into the capital from other parts of the country to soak up the atmosphere, many of them travelling all night and planning to leave the next morning after a night of revelry.

The red and gold colours of the national flag were draped over the city's Cibeles and Neptune fountains, where fans of Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid respectively celebrate their victories. Fans wrapped themselves in the flag or wore red wigs and the team shirts or painted their faces in the red and gold colours, as the sounds of klaxons and drum beats blared out.

Almost all towns and cities throughout the country installed giant screens for people to watch the match. Authorities in the Catalan capital of Barcelona set up a giant outdoor screen for the final for the first time during the tournament, with some 50,000 people expected at the fan park.