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Year in photos: World Cup

From vuvuzelas to Nelson Mandela โ€” South Africa's World Cup 2010 in photos.

World Cup 2010 South Africa

South Africa's World Cup captured the world's attention with great soccer, great goals, striking stadiums and scenery. And there were no major incidents of crime or disasters, despite some dire predictions. 

Vuvuzelas, the blaring plastic horns, blasted South Africa's World Cup 2010 on to the scene. The constant ear-splitting screech of the horns created controversy. Spectators and players wore earplugs and television networks filtered out the noise. But fans, like this young Netherlands supporter, kept blowing their horns. (Paballo Thekiso/AFP/Getty Images)

Nelson Mandela, the iconic anti-apartheid leader, was widely credited with persuading FIFA to select South Africa to host the world's largest sports tournament. It was the first time the World Cup was held on the African continent. There were many questions about whether South Africa could make adequate preparations for the tournament and control its high crime rate, but the World Cup took place without any serious incidents. Here, Mandela, 92, and his wife, Graca Machel, wave to cheering crowds at the final on July 11. (Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images)

The Soccer City Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg's largest black township, was extensively rebuilt for the World Cup. A striking exterior facelift made it resemble a giant African calabash cooking pot. Here, the stadium is lit up by fireworks at the closing ceremony. (Monirul Bhuiyan/AFP/Getty Images)

Spain's goalkeeper Iker Casillas goes after the ball during extra time in the 2010 World Cup football final between the Netherlands and Spain on July 11, 2010 at Soccer City Stadium. Spain won 1-0. (Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images)

Two supporters with both Spanish (on the left cheeks) and Dutch flags painted on their faces show their enthusiasm for South Africa's World Cup at the Durban South Beach on July 11, 2010 a few hours before the start of the 2010 Football World Cup final match. (Rajesh Jantilal/AFP/Getty Images)

Colombian singer Shakira, center, performs during the closing ceremony of the 2010 World Cup just before the football final between the Netherlands and Spain at Soccer City stadium in Soweto, suburban Johannesburg . (Pedro Ugarte/AFP/Getty Images)

Spain's midfielder Andres Iniesta scores the winning goal during the 2010 FIFA football World Cup final between the Netherlands and Spain. Spain won 1-0. (Pedro Ugarte/AFP/Getty Images)

Spain's defender Sergio Ramos, center, raises the trophy as Spain's national football team celebrates winning the 2010 World Cup football final against the Netherlands on July 11, 2010 at Soccer City stadium in Soweto. (Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)