Germany, the opening opponent for the United States, arrived in France on Sunday, hoping to join Brazil as the World Cup's only four-time champion.
After a charter flight from Frankfurt to Nice, the team went to its headquarters at Mas d'Artigny, just outside St-Paul-de-Vence, in the hills above the Mediterranean resort of Nice."We are on a very, very good direction," captain Juergen Klinsmann said.
Players were given silver key rings with the date July 13 - the day they would return home if they are in the final. Aboard the flight, they were served dessert made in the shape of soccer balls and shoes.
Germany, 2-0 against the United States, comes into the tournament following a 3-1 win over Colombia and a 7-0 rout of Luxembourg. The game against the Americans is June 15 in Paris.
"My players are more refreshed now than a week before," coach Berti Vogts said.
Things aren't looking so good for Dutch forward Dennis Bergkamp, who may miss the Netherlands' first two World Cup games because of a hamstring injury.
"He is kicking the ball a little on his own, but has not yet joined team training," Dutch coach Guus Hiddink said. "He is getting better but he hasn't played for six weeks and is missing match fitness."
Bergkamp, who scored 16 goals last season for Arsenal in England's Premier League, missed three exhibition games for the Netherlands the past three weeks.
Another big star, Chile's Ivan Zamorano, missed Sunday's practice because of a bruised right knee. The injury is not expected to keep the 31-year-old forward out of Chile's World Cup opener against Italy on Thursday.
Zamorano sustained the injury Saturday during a 5-0 victory over a Chilean youth team touring Europe.
In Paris, Lennart Johansson lined up his chief backers on the eve of Monday's FIFA presidential election and predicted he will beat Sepp Blatter.
"I'm very confident of victory," said Johansson, president of the Union of European Football Associations. "See what kind of people are surrounding me."
Johansson is supported by Pele while Blatter, FIFA's general secretary, has the backing of the United States, England and France. Up to 192 nations vote Monday, and the outcome is unclear.
"My troops will be aligned," said Issa Hayatou, the head of the African confederation, seen by many as a key on how the election will go.
"For Blatter, it's over," said Antonio Matarrese, UEFA's first vice president.
In another controversy, England coach Glenn Hoddle promised a crackdown on drinking at the World Cup as teammates - and recovering alcoholics - Tony Adams and Paul Merson offered to help Paul Gascoigne, who was cut because he was out of shape.
"I am not going to ban alcohol and, on occasion, the players will be allowed a couple of beers or a glass of wine," Hoddle said. "But only at the right times.
"Alcohol can also affect injuries, and that was the disappointing thing with Paul Gascoigne," he added. "In England that's what we have had all through our careers - get in the players' bar and have a beer. But that's detrimental and won't happen in France."
Merson and Adams said Gascoigne could get help from them,
"I just hope he sorts out his life and can be happy," said Adams, who stopped drinking two years ago. "Only he can decide if he has a problem, but if he wants to choose my path then he knows where I am."
In Chantilly, Spain's team took heart from the French Open. In an all-Spanish men's final, Carlos Moya beat Alex Corretja 6-3, 7-5, 6-3. Another Spaniard, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, won the women's title.
"Things seem to be happening for Spain and that gives everyone that extra bit of confidence," defender Rafael Alkorta said. "They're like premonitions. We are here, too, and hoping to conquer in France."