Sunday, 9 August 2009

Captain's Death Stuns Espanyol

Spanish football has been shocked by the sudden death of Espanyol's captain Daniel Jarque.

Jarque, the 26 year old defender, was a product of the Espanyol youth team and had played for the team since he was 12. He had been named club captain earlier in the summer, replacing the legendary Raul Tamudo.

He suffered a heart attack whilst on a pre-season training trip in Coverciano, Italy. The rest of the trip has been canceled and the squad have returned to Barcelona.

Bill Shankly once famously said
"Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that." But when news such as this breaks you have to remember that football is just a game.

The sudden death raises questions on the health and fitness monitoring of players. Similar incidents have occurred in 2007 when Phil O'Donnell of Motherwell died on the pitch in a match against Dundee United and Antonoi Puerta died after collapsing on the pitch for Sevilla against Getafe.

Pre-season is usually time for clubs and their fans to grow optimistic of the new season, but for Espanyol it has been hit by a bombshell and it could take months for them to recover. I wish them, and Jarque's family and friends all the best in these hard times.