As ever, the World Cup not only leaves indelible memories from the action on the field, but is also a fine source of noteworthy quotes ranging from the funny to the absurd. So without further ado, here's some standouts from 2010:
"I'm giving them those names as a token of my willingness to know more about the game ... For them to be born on this day was a wonderful surprise" -- new father Charl Reinhardt explains his and wife Riana's decision to name twin boys, born during the opening match, "Bafana" and "Mexico." Anele Ntshinga named her daughter, who arrived just after the match finished, "FIFA."
"I prefer a calm coach on the bench like [Bert] Van Marwijk, rather than an idiot like Maradona or Dunga." -- Dutch star Wesley Sneijder doesn't pull any punches.
"Exposure levels exceeded limits of permissible average and peak sound levels. Significant changes in postmatch hearing thresholds and cochlear responsiveness highlight the possible risk for noise-induced hearing loss. Public awareness and personal hearing protection should be prioritized as preventive measures" -- the conclusions of a South African Medical Journal study into exposure to vuvuzelas, which found that the 131dB noise from the horns was a health and safety hazard.
"It seems like the bad publicity has been good for us. We're completely sold out. Every time we manufacture more, the next morning by nine we're sold out" -- Brandon Bernado, of the increasingly profitable vuvuzela.co.za.
"It's an easy life I'm living. I'm sure people will be quite jealous. I'm going to be seeing if they can extend my lease" -- Adam Santarossa speaks from inside the giant replica Jabulani, placed in Melbourne, he's been living in since the World Cup started. The competition winner has to spend 22 hours of each day inside, and has watched every single game.
"It didn't affect my digestion, the pancakes were very good, but there was real disappointment" -- Florent Malouda describes the moment he found out he wouldn't be starting for France against Uruguay.
"We have issued the order to the factories to switch off for five hours every evening in a desperate move to save electricity so people can watch the play on televisions. This is an undesirable decision from an economic point of view but we were rather compelled" -- Dhaka Electric Supply Company MD Saleh Ahmed explains why productivity is down in June/July in Bangladesh. There had been protests before the order as power cuts had interrupted matches -- the same apparently happened in Ghana, where one blogger found himself relying on a wind-up radio for World Cup coverage.
"My name's Pavlos and I'm looking for a toilet" -- the moment a lost England fan landed himself in court facing trespass charges. Pavlos Joseph says stewards misdirected him into the England dressing room after the goalless draw with Algeria, where he told David Beckham the performance was a disgrace before asking for a toilet. The case was eventually dropped, but Daily Mirror journalist Simon Wright has been arrested on suspicion of orchestrating the incident.
"One minute they're talking about [Fabio] Capello as world-class, now they need a fortnight to decide if he is the man for them after all. What are they waiting for - to see what's in the newspapers?" -- former England fullback Gary Neville pulls no punches as he discusses the Football Association's decision-making machinery. Capello ended up keeping his $9m-a-year contract.
"Mick Jagger: Chile's secret weapon against Brazil" -- Chile's top tabloid, Las Ultimas Noticias, spots a pattern after the leathery old Stone turns up to support the U.S. (lost to Ghana) and England (lost to Germany) and hopes it'll work when he takes his seat to see Brazil. Chile lost 3-0.
"I like the Jabulani it's very pretty." -- FIFA boss Sepp Blatter shows the thought process behind the decision to introduce the controversial ball in South Africa.
"We committed to making a donation to the ASPCA after this, because we are animal lovers" -- Cameron Selogie, owner of Il Vinaio, a Mesa, Phoenix restaurant serving $21 burgers made with African lion meat to celebrate the World Cup. This didn't stop him getting death threats from animal rights activists.
"On the plane Carlitos [Tevez] made me listen to Oasis's first two albums. I have to say I wasn't expecting much but it is some of the best material I have ever heard. They are absolutely amazing ... We have agreed that if we win the World Cup, we want to fly them over to Argentina for our celebration party. We just need them to name their price" -- Not only did Argentina's defeat to Germany cost us all the sight of Diego Maradona skipping naked through the streets of Buenos Aires, it scuppered any chance of a reunion for Lionel Messi's favorite new Brit band. Or perhaps it was the reason for their defeat.
"Rafik Saifi slapped the face of journalist Asma Halimi. She hit him back as a reflex. He then threw a bottle of sports drink which missed and had to be restrained from attacking her again" -- Richard Connelly of the BBC World Service describes the extraordinary chain of events in the mixed zone after Algeria's last minute defeat by the U.S.
"No sadness, no desolation and, above all, no anger: that is too much to give these men who are unable to offer anything. The I-couldn't-give-a-damn attitude is the only banner under which this team is capable of rallying" -- L'Equipe was responding to France's 2-0 defeat to Mexico, but managed to sum up the team's entire campaign in two lines. The fallout continues to blow across French soccer like a nuclear winter.
"I shall resume drinking only when Germany lifts the Cup. No one can lure me to consume alcohol before that" -- Teetotal Indian grocery store owner Putul Bora buried a bottle of whisky in his garden the day after Bulgaria put Germany, his favorite team, out of the 1994 World Cup, but will have to wait at least another four years before digging it up now.
"What we presented at the World Cup, particularly some of the misses by our players, shows complete lack of commitment on the part of our players. I cannot imagine an international player missing a goal, that was almost two to three meters to a goal post and he was laughing or smiling. There was no sign of regret. That is the level of patriotism that gets Nigerian government concerned" -- explaining the Nigerian government's decision to try and withdraw the nation's soccer team from international competition for two years, Minister of Sports Ibrahim Bio takes Yakubuon a scenic guilt trip.
"We're completely out of stock" -- spokeswoman for Strenesse, German retailer of "exclusive Designer Mode für Damen und Herren," after a rush on the dapper blue cashmere sweater coach Joachim Löw's been sporting under his blazer. Each time he's worn it, Germany has scored four goals.
"I was hungry" -- Argentina fan Ernesto Soldati tries to explain how he ended up in court after stealing $2 worth of Gouda cheese from a store in Pretoria. Having run out of money as he prepared to head home, Soldati's shoplifting ended up costing his friends about $25 after he was fined and ordered to leave South Africa. The court hearing meant he'd actually missed his flight home.
"Unauthorized use of a trade mark at a protected event" and "entry into a designated area while in possession of a prohibited commercial object" -- charges brought against two Dutch women who were part of a 36-strong group of "models" dressed in skimpy orange dresses branded by Bavaria beer at the Netherlands-Denmark game.
"There's a lot more activity on Twitter" -- the beer's marketing manager, Sean Durkan, doesn't seem too upset by events after attracting mass media coverage that would ordinarily have cost the company nearly $100,000.
"I didn't think I was doing anything wrong" -- British television pundit Robbie Earle, who lost his job after investigations by ITV revealed that the tickets used by the women came from his personal allocation.
Diego Maradona could have had his own full-length article with all the verbal gems he's left us over the past few weeks, from shouting "What an arsehole you are!" at a photographer who carelessly put his leg under the Argentina coach's car wheel, to "I like women! I'm dating Veronica. She is 31. She is blonde. She is very pretty! Don't start rumors about me," after being asked about his affectionate handling of his players. But perhaps the most ill advised was his response to Bastian Schweinsteiger's comments, ahead of Germany's quarterfinal meeting with Argentina, about the South Americans being provocative. "What's the matter, Schweinsteiger? Are you nervousssh?" he asked, affecting a strong German accent.
"It is not the case that we will be homeless after the semifinal" -- Martine Bruggink, spokeswoman for the Dutch team, which modestly (or pessimistically) only booked rooms until July 5. Johannesburg's Sandton Hilton Hotel then turned out to be fully booked for the week leading up to the final. The squad eventually found a new home at Sunnyside Park Hotel, also in Johannesburg.
"Nobody can beat us this year and you can already put the champagne on ice" -- German Professor Metin Tolan, author of Thus we become World Champions: The Physics of Football, speaking to Zeit Wissen magazine earlier this year. Using a mathematical formula, Tolan predicted that the Germans, who win the World Cup every four or five tournaments and hadn't won since 1990, would lift the trophy this time around. He was outwitted by Paul the octopus, who correctly predicted that Spain would beat Germany in the semifinal.
"How did you manage to muck that up?" -- Sara Carbonero, Telecinco journalist, asks Iker Casillas about defeat to Switzerland in Spain's opening game. The British press went to town (imagine that!) with stories that Spanish fans and media blamed Carbonero, who is also Casillas' girlfriend, for distracting the goalkeeper (ordinarily WAGs are banned under Vicente del Bosque's regime). Only problem was, none of it was strictly true. Spain pulled behind Carbonero, whose professionalism through it all has done her reputation no harm at all.