Andres Iniesta got one of the record 13 yellow cards in the World Cup Final Sunday . . . but this one was worth it. Why did he get a yellow card? For taking off his shirt after the extra time goal that put his Spain team ahead 1-0 over Netherlands. Why did he take his shirt off?
That’s the best tribute stories of the World Cup. Like most soccer players celebrating a goal, Iniesta ran to the corner after he scored, but he took off his blue Spain jersey as he ran, revealing a white t-shirt with these words hand-written on the front:
“Dani Jarque: siempre con nosotros” (Dani Jarque: you are always with us)
The words were a tribute to his fallen teammate Dani Jarque, who collapsed and died at age 26 one month after being named captain of Espanyol. Iniesta and Jarque were teammates on under-17, 19, 20, 21 teams.
“I wanted to carry Dani with me,” Iniesta said. “I had the opportunity to score that goal which was so important to my team. It’s something absolutely incredible. I simply made a small contribution to my team.”
A beautiful tribute for the beautiful game and World Cup 2010.