Uruguay players like Diego Forlan have become hugely popular in South Africa
Uruguay's success has been enjoyed by the the people of the gritty mining city of Kimberley, where the quarter-finalists set up base camp high on South Africa's central plains at the launch of their campaign. So much so that the Uruguayan Football Association plans to develop the links forged by setting up coaching schemes in the area and inviting the best youngsters to Uruguay.
"I want to hug them. They have made us proud," said senior citizen Pulane Boikanyo, who was waiting for the Uruguayans to arrive for training ahead of Friday's quarter-final showdown with Ghana. The Dream Stays Alive - City Team Book Their Place in the Quarter, was the front-page headline in the local newspaper after Uruguay's 2-1 victory over South Korea in the previous round.
Manchester City's Argentina star Carlos Tevez is confident that his nation will beat Germany to secure a place in the last four - and believes previous opponents Mexico were a bigger threat.
"I was more afraid of Mexico than Germany because the Mexicans play better football - they took the ball from us in the first minutes of the first half and at the start of the second. We would have suffered more if we hadn't struck at the right moments," he told Argentine newspaper Clarin.
Netherlands striker Robin van Persie has defended his angry reaction to being substituted against Slovakia. Van Persie remonstrated with coach Bert van Marwijk when he was replaced by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 10 minutes before the end of the 2-1 win and then took no part in the Dutch celebrations of Wesley Sneijder's late goal.
Van Persie said: "What I said to Van Marwijk was not over the top. I just want to be important to the team and score. I wanted to stay on as we would have had more space with Slovakia chasing an equaliser and I felt that I could profit from that."
Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac has insisted that his players will not be affected by the pressure of attempting to become the first African side to reach the World Cup semi-finals.
Speaking ahead of their match against Uruguay, he stated: "We are not thinking about the pressure. We have already proved that we are a team that knows how to compete. We will try to relax and are very happy with the whole situation. We have no obligation but still we want to use this opportunity to do our best and to make history."
Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan has issued a statement thanking his national team for their efforts following their World Cup exit in a penalty shoot-out against Paraguay.
"The players and the bench were united and showed the world the potential of Japanese soccer. I sincerely congratulate their efforts," he commented.
Updated throughout the day.