In their own words...
We present you a slideshow with some of the most famous quotes from South Africa, as relayed by FIFA’s official website.
"We only dreamt that one day, a free and equal South Africa would participate at international competitions. We never thought that South Africa, so early on, would host a World Cup. This has been, undoubtedly a very successful tournament. I think we have proven that not only South Africa, but Africa is capable of hosting any major event", South Africa's President Jacob Zuma.
“I'm happy, I'm really happy, that I've been able to score these decisive goals. But the whole team's done an excellent job”, Andres Iniesta (ESP).
“I’m enjoying it [being named South Africa 2010’s top player] and I’m delighted, but I’m very aware that it’s the result of the spectacular tournament the team has had. It’s another reward for this positive period for Uruguayan soccer", Diego Forlan (URU).
"I am warmed by the players. You can see that there is no tension, no pressure. Always with smiles, singing and laughing – stuff like that. What I've learned is that the more pressure you put on yourself, the more things go wrong. So, I have been telling the guys that they should be free [and that] nobody should even think about the games.", Stephen Appiah (GHA).
"Cesc [Fabregas] is a fantastic player. I also find it really strange that he isn’t in the first team for Spain. I don't understand that at all. I think he’s incredible. I’ve been playing at Arsenal for six years with him and every year he’s improved. He’s the captain of our team and I have a lot of respect for him", Robin van Persie (NED).
"I behave exactly the same on the pitch whether I'm wearing the captain's armband or not. But it's a big responsibility, as well as a good incentive to be well-motivated and to lead by example. It's a great honor", Rafael Marquez (MEX).
"I think all of us have put lots of pressure on ourselves because this World Cup is being played on our continent. Expectations were huge and we owed it to ourselves to perform well, but the pressure has caused us more stress than anything else and even inhibited our talents. There have been a few players who haven’t been up to the standard required. Their abilities have been crushed by the pressure they’ve put on their own shoulders" Salomon Kalou (CIV).
"We could have done better. We haven’t showed the best of ourselves", Marek Hamsik (SLK).
"I’m a soccer romantic just like Cruyff. We like soccer that is attractive, attacking and easy on the eye. When you win playing like this it’s twice as satisfying", Xavi (ESP).
"What I try to do as a player is work hard, fight for the ball. Obviously every team wants to perform well, play well, get the good results and score more goals and great goals, but this is the World Cup and every opponent can hurt you", Dirk Kuyt (NED).
"I try to play with intensity every time I step on the field. It doesn't matter for me if it's a World Cup or a league match, or training. I am who I am as a player, and it's important to know the things that I do that help my team. I always try to bring that to the table", Michael Bradley (USA).
"It’s true that there are teams with better players than us, but I also think that we have tremendous team spirit something which, in my opinion, can balance out better technical ability on the part of other teams", Paraguay coach Gerardo 'Tata' Martino.
"I’m personally delighted about the nomination (for Hyundai Best Young Player award at the 2010 FIFA World Cup), but I had preferred to win the World Cup title with the team", Thomas Mueller (GER).
"I'm afraid of nothing and I feel really good both physically and mentally. I'm happy to be here and playing soccer", Didier Drogba (CIV).
"It's not a passion of mine to be a manager of a team. I'm passionate about the game and being there, and obviously I was wearing the suit, so people have looked and thought I could be going into that", former England player David Beckham.
“He’s a great motivator (Maradona), there’s no doubt about that. He’s a very good coach and he couldn’t be doing better. Who wouldn’t be happy to play under him?”, Gonzalo Higuain (ARG).
"My wife phoned me yesterday and said she was asked who wears the pants at home – to be fair she is more of a disciplinarian at home, probably because I am away so much and when I go home I treat the kids and am very soft with them. She is the one who has to take control", World Cup final head official Howard Webb.
"After we lost our first game I said it would make us a lot stronger. It was like a slap in the face and a real wake-up call", Fernando Llorente (ESP).
"I wouldn't dare to predict the score (of the 2010 World Cup Final) but I think you have to believe the octopus. So whatever Paul says, I'll go with him", Colombian superstar Shakira.