Why do Espanyol fans love Andres Iniesta even though he has never played for the club?

Simon Harris:
In August 2009, Dani Jarque – the Espanyol captain – died of a heart attack after a pre-season game in Italy aged only 26. He had come through Spain youth ranks with a lot of Barcelona players but was particularly close friends with Andrés Iniesta.

Almost a year later, when Iniesta scored Spain’s winning goal in the World Cup Final, he celebrated by showing a shirt on which was writtem “Dani Jarque siempre con nosotros” (“Dani Jarque, always with us”)

On January 18 2012, a statue of Dani Jarque was unveiled at Gate 21 (Jarque’s shirt number) and Iniesta was the only person apart from family and Espanyol representatives invited. He was unable to attend because of Barça’s Copa del Rey first leg against Madrid in the Bernabéu but his parents and partner went in his absence.

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