Soccer Is Haunted by an Inexplicable Trend

BRUGES, BELGIUM — There is no escape, nor should there be, from the shocking news that the heart of a top sportsman in the prime of his life has ceased beating for no detectable reason.

Dani Jarque, the captain of the Spanish first division club Espanyol, died on Saturday. He was 26. He had trained with the team at Coverciano in Italy that morning, and apparently he simply fell silent in midconversation on the telephone to his girlfriend back home.

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-Rob Hughes