ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Croatian flags are everywhere, people are walking the streets wearing the national team's soccer jerseys and even dogs are sporting red-and-white collars.

Croatia has been gripped by anticipation and euphoria ahead of the national team's first World Cup final appearance against France on Sunday.

Despite rainy weather, thousands of people are expected to gather on city squares throughout the country to watch the game live on screens.

Croatians enjoying the carnival atmosphere say that whatever the outcome, their team has already achieved a great deal.

Barbara Selendic says "we are all joyful, we have forgotten everyday worries for a few days. Now we want to see a good match."

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic says the country should use the feel-good factor to drive reform and pull out of an economic crisis.