Five years of rigorous training and the much-needed motivation have borne fruit for two 18-year-olds who will represent India in the Homeless World Cup.
Understanding how to achieve victory is something Lokomotiv Moscow's football coach Slaven Bilic wants to get across to his players.
Their team may have failed to shine on the pitch, but Poles are bursting with pride about how well their country did in hosting Euro 2012, with an overwhelming majority reckoning it was a hands-down success.
Italy may have suffered a footballing lesson in the hopelessly one-sided Euro 2012 final against Spain but before a ball was kicked in that game they had at least achieved some sort of redemption.
Spain has taken its place among football's all-time great sides by becoming the first team to defend its European Championship after winning the World Cup. The task, now, is to be remembered as the greatest.
There was an element of mercy in the final whistle of the Euro 2012 soccer championships on Sunday night, not for Italy, which was routed by Spain, but for Ukraine, a tournament co-host, which over four weeks of worldwide attention had its already flagging reputation battered even more.
Tens of thousands of people turned downtown Madrid into a sea of red late Sunday night, flooding the thoroughfares and taking over the main fountain square of the Spanish capital after the national soccer team won another European championship.
This year's European Championship has turned up the usual crop of the sublime, the extraordinary, the disappointing and the plain curious. And as always, there has been no shortage of contenders for the categories of tournament tops and flops.
In an explosion of red-and-yellow joy, Spanish fans burst into chants of "Champions, Champions!" on Sunday to greet a thumping Euro 2012 win that swept away the clouds of economic crisis.
From players to coaches, everyone had something to say during the European Championships. Here's the pick of what was said at Euro 2012.
MS Dhoni and his wife Sakshi seems to have enjoyed the Euro 2012 final between Spain and Italy with the Indian cricket captain keeping his fans updated about the clash as well as his views and experience on Twitter.
Premier Mario Monti and striker Mario Balotelli gave a much-needed boost to a country suffering for months under harsh austerity measures and embarrassed by a match-fixing scandal in its national sport in which dozens have been arrested.
Ever wondered what makes a team special? It's players, the management, or the style of football it plays. What is it that makes Spain special? A team once regarded as under achievers and how they are now dominating world football at both the club and international stage.
Champions are made of many things, not least talent and quality but there are also other vital ingredients that can often be overlooked, such as self-belief and an insatiable will to win.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the kind of player that can change a game with one moment of excellence, the kind of player every team wants to have when the game is on the line.
Miraculously, even out here amid the belching smokestacks and coal mines on the furthermost eastern fringes of Europe, someone had the foresight to have a copy of Viva Espana cued up, ready to go. Good job, too, because they needed it.
With Germans wowing like Brazilians, the attack-minded Italians shedding their defensive skins and the Spanish hogging the ball to suffocate opponents rather than dazzling with "Ole!" artistry, the European Championship has delivered a festival of enthralling and cerebral soccer that has challenged national stereotypes.
Cristiano Ronaldo's goals have won consecutive matches at the European Championship, sending Portugal into Wednesday's semifinals against Spain. So readers would be forgiven for thinking there was only one player in the team.