"When we played in this stadium in the seventies and eighties, we never could have dreamt that one day it would be part of a FIFA World Cup," said Isaac "Ox" Mahlangu at an event held at Orlando Stadium in Soweto this week to reflect on the social, infrastructure and sporting legacy of hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
Orlando Stadium, often regarded as the spiritual home of South African football, will be one of the support venues at next year's FIFA World Cup™, and has been massively revamped ahead of the event - seating capacity has been increased from 24,000 to 40,000 and the new facility boasts 120 hospitality suites, conference facilities, a gymnasium, fan shop and offices.
Mahlangu, a South African football legend who played for Johannesburg-based club Moroka Swallows, said that the stadium was a living testimony to the legacy of the World Cup.
"Our children are very inspired by this stadium and they aspire to playing in this stadium - this is the legacy that this World Cup is leaving".
For CEO of South Africa's Premier Soccer League, Norwegian Kjetil Siem, South Africa's new stadiums will be one of the biggest surprises for visitor's to next year's World Cup.
"If you took this stadium and put it anywhere else in the world it would be the best or one of the best that even a wealthy European nation would have to offer, and it is not even a World Cup stadium," said Siem.
"The World Cup coming to this country will leave a legacy for the rest of our lives on a level which is much higher than the average South African is aware of. Through these massively improved facilities it has already given football an enormous legacy."
Not only is South Africa building five new stadiums, substantially upgrading World Cup final venue, Soccer City, and renovating four existing stadiums to host next year's tournament, but training facilities for the 32 teams also have to be identified and upgraded and each host city needs to have a further one or two training venues available for the teams playing in that city to train in.
The 32 teams participating in the 2010 FIFA World Cup will each have a team base camp - this is a hotel coupled with a training ground which the teams will use on non-match days. They will fly into the host city the day before a match and fly back out on match day or the day after - depending on how far their base camp is from the match venue.
All of the training sites need to meet FIFA requirements and the needs of the teams. These upgraded training facilities will further benefit South African football and South African communities in general who can also use them for other sports and public gatherings.
"At last stadiums are being built and upgraded close to where the football fans live. This is ensuring that teams are reconnected with the communities that support them," said OC CEO Dr Danny Jordaan.
Siem echoed Jordaan's sentiments. "It is so beautiful for our teams to be able to play at a stadium like Orlando, where the local community can literally walk to the stadium."