The World Cup which begins on Friday in South Africa is going to be the best ever, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Monday as he was honored with the country's highest national order.
"After the 12th of June everyone will have an interest in Africa, because this is going to be the best World Cup ever," said Blatter.
President Jacob Zuma bestowed the world football boss with the Order of the Companion of OR Tambo, an accolade only awarded to foreign nationals or heads of states in appreciation of friendship and cooperation shown to the country.
Since the awarding of the World Cup in 2004, Blatter has had to deflect doubts about South Africa's ability to successfully host the tournament.
He said bringing the World Cup to Africa has always been his dream since he started working in the continent.
"It started with a belief and now that belief is a reality," said Blatter.
Blatter added that the legacy of the World Cup must go beyond the shiny new stadiums and upgraded infrastructure.
"Football gives you emotions and hope, hope will give you trust and confidence," said Blatter.