Fernando Torresneeded only 17 minutes to score a hat trick, connecting with his right foot, left foot and his head, to lead favorite Spain to a 5-0 win over hapless New Zealand in the opening game of the Confederations Cup.
Torres emerged as fan favorite among South Africans even before Spain played its first game.
"I would like to thank all the Africans here," Torres said. "It's great. It almost feels like home and its good to be in a team which is winning fans all over the world. It is good to have them feel happy now-and also we want to make them happy at the World Cup next year."
Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas made it 4-0 after 24 minutes and David Villacompleted the scoring after New York Red Bull Andrew Boyens whiffed on a ball played into the middle of the penalty area.