Two of the biggest teams from across the Pacific are all set to take on each other in a crucial Round of 16 match of FIFA World Cup 2018 on Monday. And while Brazil may be the traditional favourites, Mexico has showcased a strong brand of football as well.
Backing the two teams are millions of die-hard supporters - perhaps the most vociferous in the entire world. That both Brazilians and Mexicans are absolutely crazy for the sport is a known fact. That they would be coming all out to cheer for their sides - whether in Russia or back home - is, therefore, a safe assumption.
Giant screens have once again gone up in Rio de Janeiro and several other prominent Brazilian cities. During the team's league matches, several women were seen doing the samba after wins in two of three clashes. Some even reportedly went topless. Tourists in the country have been witnessing unprecedented scenes with offers and discounts galore on food, beverages, rentals and stays - provided the national team wins. Brazil drew Switzerland before 2-0 wins against Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E matches.
Over in the north, scenes have been no less euphoric so far. Mexico defeated defending champions Germany 1-0 and then downed South Korea 2-1 before a rather embarrassing 0-3 loss to Sweden. The biggest cheer though was when the South Koreans defeated Germany, a result which ensured a place in Round of 16 for Mexico. Fans crowded the street outside the South Korean embassy in Mexico City and even hoisted an embassy official in scenes of sheer elation.
Elsewhere, screenings are being organised with food and the traditional tequila in ample supply. Superstitions too are equally high and some fans have taken to social media to even say a win against Brazil would be as good as the World Cup trophy itself.
With a long list of football icons set to take the pitch at the Samara Arena, the pitch of fans may well reverbrate all over.