JOHANNESBURG - Andrés Iniesta will always be remembered for the goal that gave Spain its first World Cup title.
And when he scored, Iniesta remembered former teammate Daniel Jarque.
Seconds after his extra-time goal gave Spain a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands in Sunday’s final, Iniesta took off his blue Spain jersey to reveal a white T-shirt bearing the words, “Dani Jarque: siempre con nosotros” – “Dani Jarque: always with us.”
Jarque collapsed and died at the age of 26 on a preseason tour of Italy last year, one month after being named captain of Espanyol.
Iniesta and Jarque were teammates on Spain’s under-17, under-19, under-20 and under-21 teams.
“I wanted to carry Dani with me,” Iniesta said after picking up his man of the match award. “We wanted to pay tribute to him and we thought it was the best opportunity to do so.”
Iniesta was given a yellow card for the gesture – the rule when players remove their jerseys – but that was a small price to pay after he blasted a shot across Netherlands goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg and in at the far post.
Moments after explaining his tribute to Jarque, teammates Cesc Fabregas, Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol burst into the room with beers in hand and started chanting, “You’re the best, you’re the best” at Iniesta, who broke into a wide smile.
Nelson Mandela waved to the crowd at Soccer City as South Africa bid farewell to the 2010 World Cup in emotional and joyous ceremony Sunday.
The 91-year-old anti-apartheid icon had kept a low profile during the monthlong tournament, deciding against attending the opener June 11 after the death of his great-granddaughter in a traffic accident.
Earlier, Shakira performed “Waka Waka” (“This Time for Africa”), the competition’s official song.
Also performing was Grammy Award-winning cappella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Uruguay striker Diego Forlan was awarded the Golden Ball as the World Cup’s best player, and Germany’s Thomas Mueller won the Golden Boot as the top scorer with five goals and three assists.
Forlan was voted the top player of the tournament by accredited media. Mueller, 20, also won the Best Young Player award.
Spain’s Iker Casillas won the Golden Glove as the top goalkeeper.
An unidentified spectator ran onto the field and tried to touch the World Cup trophy moments before the players were due to walk out onto the field but was tackled just before he could his hands on the trophy and was carried away. ... A global TV audience of more than 700 million was expected to watch the World Cup final. FIFA signed deals allowing every country in the world to watch the Netherlands play Spain. Head of television Niclas Ericson said FIFA expects a record audience for any sports broadcast in Spain, and a market share of more than 90 percent of Dutch viewers. If the World Cup final meets predictions, it will beat the estimated 600 million audience for the opening ceremony at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.