England fans gathering in Frankfurt for the national side's opening game against Paraguay rejoiced last night following reports that Wayne Rooney has been cleared to play in the tournament.
The news was jubilant and most supporters were convinced the player's recovery would enable England to win the World Cup for the first time in 40 years.
Oliver Collenette, 52, wearing an England shirt with Rooney's name on it, said: "It's brilliant news. I think that means we can win it.
At the end of the day we are probably going to have to play Brazil and you need someone of his stature and skill level to do that."
Mr Collenette, from Solihull, said: "He's a world class player and we really need him. To win the World Cup you have to have the world's best players."
Mr Collenette was one of about 20 friends from the Birmingham area who have travelled to Frankfurt. Another of them, Alan Parker, 53, a community project officer, from Bartley Green, said: "It's fantastic news - that will put the wind up everybody!"
Rob Hipkiss, 46, an occupational therapist from Rubery, said: "It will be particularly helpful for the later stages. We've got a very good chance. We just need to do better in penalty shoot-outs. I hope they've been practising them!"
The friends plan to watch Saturday's match on big screens mounted in the middle of the River Main and visible from either bank of the waterway.
"Everyone's been very welcoming and it should be very good so long as they can keep the hooligans away," Mr Hip-kiss said.
Meanwhile, news of Rooney's seemingly remarkable recovery was first published on the the Fifa website.
The claim came as the 20-year-old took to the air on his way back to Germany amid fevered speculation that he has been cleared to play after a crucial scan on his broken foot.
There was no immediate official announcement from the FA on whether the #27 million forward, who broke his metatarsal playing against Chelsea five and a half weeks ago, had been given the all-clear by doctors his return on a private jet tonight boosted hopes.
A report on the Fifa site said: "England have been boosted by the news that Wayne Rooney will be fit to play some part in Germany 2006.
"The 20-year-old striker will be included in SvenGoran Eriksson's 23-man squad for the tournament, which begins on 9 June."
Speculation mounted after Rooney emerged smiling from the Whalley Range hospital in Manchester last night.
The broad grin of FA executive director David Davies as he accompanied Rooney out of hospital and the player's short drive to the city's airport, also fuelled hopes.
After seeing the pictures Eriksson was quoted as saying: "Yes, I think it's good news, he is coming back."
If the reports are true it is thought that his first appearance would probably be at the first knock-out phase on June 24 or 25.
The speed of Rooney's return also fuelled speculation that a return has been given the blessing of Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.