Espanyol in tribute to Dani Jarque
Espanyol have renamed their training ground after former player Dani Jarque, who died aged just 26 in August 2009.
Former club captain Jarque shockingly passed away during a pre-season training camp in Italy, and is fondly remembered by many supporters of Espanyol and other La Liga clubs.
A formal renaming ceremony took place on Monday at the redeveloped Ciudad de Futbol, and was attended by Jarque's parents, his former partner and his daughter. Espanyol executives, coaches, senior players and youth team members were also present, as were more than 500 Pericos supporters.
Jarque's former agent, Xavi Diaz, speaking on behalf of the family, said that the values he represented still lived on at the club.
"Dani is among us, although we have been without him for four years now," Diaz said. "I want to take this opportunity to send a message to the club's captains - that they realise what the armband means, that they remember the values Dani had as a person and a footballer."
Espanyol president Joan Collet said Barcelona-born Jarquet was an example to all the young players currently working towards making a career in the game.
"There is no better site than the Ciudad Deportiva for these thousands of kids who pass through here to remember him, to honour him and to know who Dani Jarque was," Collet said. "[He was] a player who came through all the ranks, who developed as a player and as a person, and who in the end played in the Primera Division."
Collet also recalled that Jarque was remembered during each home game at the club's Cornella El-Prat stadium.
"There is no better memory or homage than that which happens each fortnight at Cornella, because it is spontaneous, from all our socios, at every 21st minute," he said. "That is done so that national and international football recognises his standing."