Former Arsenal and Sevilla star Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a car crash on Saturday morning.
The death of the 35 years old Reyes was confirmed by his Sevilla’s hometown club,
“We couldn’t be confirming worse news. Beloved Sevilla star Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision. Rest in peace.” Sevilla tweeted.
The former Spain international who also played for Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Benfica, was one of the terrific players in the Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ squad that won the Premier League title without losing a match in 2004.
At the ripe age of 16, Jose Antonio Reyes was the youngest player in Sevilla’s history to play for the club between 1999-2000. His talent earned him a successful move to Arsenal in 2004 in a deal worth about £17m. He made 69 appearances for Arsenal and scored 16 goals. He also played 21 times for Spain and netted 4 goals.
He moved to Real Madrid on a loan in 2006, where he played briefly. The final game of the 2006 season was indeed memorable because Jose Antonio Reyes came in as a substitute and quickly scored twice, which helped the club to win the La Liga title.
Apart from playing for Sevilla, Arsenal, Real Madrid and Benfica, Reyes equally played for Espanyol, Cordoba, Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard (China) and recently in January 2019, for Extremadura, Spanish second division club. But that is not all. Jose Antonio Reyes will be remembered as the most decorated player in Europa League history, having won the prestigious competition five times – three times with Sevilla and twice with Atletico Madrid.
With Unai Emery, his former coach at Sevilla, in charge at Arsenal, it was rumoured last year, that Reyes wanted to return to his beloved club Arsenal to work under Emery as a coach.
Sadly, Jose Antonio Reyes could not fulfil his dream. Clearly, not only will Arsenal miss Jose Antonio Reyes; other clubs, footballers and fans around the world will miss the gentle Spaniard as well, as condolence messages keep on pouring in from all and sundry.
“Sending our deepest sympathies to the loved ones of Jose Antonio Reyes, following his tragic passing. May he rest in peace.” Manchester United.
“The thoughts of everybody at Chelsea FC are with the family and friends of Jose Antonio Reyes, following the tragic news today. “ Chelsea tweeted.
Barcelona tweeted, “Barcelona wishes to express their deepest condolences for the death of footballer José Antonio Reyes, a brilliant and charismatic player; one of the most outstanding figures and with a great trajectory in football. Rest in peace.”
May the gentle soul of Jose Antonio Reyes rest in perfect peace.