11 June 2022 – It was 12 years ago on this day when Spanish legend Andrés Iniesta scored the only goal of the match against the Netherlands in extra time to spearhead Spain to their maiden World Cup title at a packed FNB Stadium on 11 July 2010.
The South African Football Association (SAFA) remembers the momentous occasion and celebrates an event that is remembered the world over to this day.
If you ever want to see the power of sport, it was demonstrated on that day when South Africans and visitors from other parts of the globe descended on FNB Stadium to add their voices to the fantastic atmosphere that reveberated around the calabash. Many more partied in other parts of South Africa, on the continent, and indeed, around the globe on a day that remains etched in memory.
Iniesta’s volleyed shot into the back of the net was the fitting cherry on the icing to a tournament that many describe as the best ever 12 years later.
SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan said there were several milestones that were achieved during the 2010 World Cup tournament.
“People came together in unity, so credit goes to the fans for lifting the profile of the country,” Dr Jordaan said. “The world still talks about the opening and closing ceremonies, Paul the Octopus [the octopus gained worldwide after predicting the results of international football matches, especially during the 2010 World Cup], the World Cup Kick-Off Celebration concert at the Orlando stadium, and of course, the vuvuzela. So it is a special day today and one of the standout days for SAFA.”
Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan still remembers the tournament fondly after reaching the quarter-finals, eventually losing to Uruguay on penalties.