Just a quick note here about Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos’ touching tributes to 2 players who were watching the match from above.
After scoring the game winner, Iniesta ripped off his jersey to reveal a heartfelt message to Dani Jarque – “Siempre con nosotros” – “Always with us.” The 26 year old captain of RCD Espanyol (the other team in Barcelona), Jarque was found dead in his hotel room last year – the victim of a heart attack. It was a moment that shocked the entire country and brought the city of Barcelona together. He was also Iniesta’s teammate on the Spanish under-19 and under-20 team. I don’t think Andres really cared about that yellow card he received for taking his shirt off.
You will have also noticed that Sergio Ramos always looks to the sky during the Spanish national anthem (he and Jesus Navas also wore special t-shirts after the game). He looks to the sky at his childhood friend Antonio Puerta. In August 2007 the 22 year old left-back for Sevilla, who was the future of the position for Spain and would have been on the squad in South Africa, suffered a heart attack on the field during a game. After a series of more cardiac arrests over the next three days, he finally passed – leaving behind his girlfriend who was 8 months pregnant with their first child.
Spain dedicated their win to Jarque and Puerta, and did so with the class that both of those players embodied during their tragically short careers.