Native fans will make the most noise

MATHEW GROCOTT AND SAM CLARKE
Last updated 12:00 12/07/2014
Expat Argentinians
WARWICK SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ
FLAGGING GLORY: Expat Argentinians Marcela Russ, Valentino Canterna, 7, Norman Russ, Santino Canterna, 10, and Veronica Cozzi.

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Kiwis across Manawatu are expected to be glued to their TV screens on Monday morning for the Fifa World Cup final, but the result will mean a lot more for some residents.

The region's German and Argentinian fans have been making plans for Monday's 7am kickoff, when their sides compete in Rio

Exchange student Tobias Ludwig is expecting his German side to triumph and he's picking a 3-1 scoreline.

"Argentina does not have as good of a defence," he said. "If Germany are in good form it will be a clear win."

Originally from Cologne, Tobias has been attending Palmerston North Boys' High School this year and says watching football in New Zealand has been a new experience.

There is the time zone difference, with early morning kick offs, and a lack of German supporters to watch games with.

His New Zealand host family do not celebrate German goals as enthusiastically as he does, Tobias said.

He was thinking of heading to Wellington for the final to watch the game at a backpackers, where he hoped to find some of his countrymen.

But Argentine fans say the Germans will not have anything to celebrate.

Argentinian natives Marcela and Norman Russ and Veronica Cozzi can not decide exactly what the score will be but all agree their team will take the trophy.

"I think it will be pretty even but Argentina has an edge with [Lionel] Messi and they never give up" said Norman. "Germany have a good team but they have no stars."

Cozzi said the near-home advantage would give them the edge.

"In Brazil, Argentina will almost be like playing at home."

The team in white and blue had its last victory against the Netherlands on Argentina's independence day and Cozzi said the public holiday became a celebration in the streets.

Norman said winning the final would spark a "three-day, non-stop party".

Cozzi admitted celebrations in Palmerston North would be a lot more humble.

"If we win we will go to The Square and make some noise there."

Argentinians in Palmerston North are expected to converge at Flavia's Bistro in George St on Monday morning.

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- Manawatu Standard

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