Spanish footballer Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic accident, aged 35, his former club Sevilla said on Saturday.
We couldn’t be confirming worse news. Beloved Sevilla star José Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/qeGl2nsi3c
— Sevilla FC (@SevillaFC_ENG) 1 June 2019
Reyes last played for Spanish second tier side Extremadura. “With a shrunken soul and a broken heart Extremadura reports the death of our player Jose Antonio Reyes in a traffic accident. We ask everyone to pray for his soul,” said a club statement.
Spanish media said the accident occurred at 11.40am (0940 GMT) on Saturday morning on the road connecting his home city of Utrera and Seville.
The left winger also played for Arsenal, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid among other sides and made 21 appearances for the Spain national team.
Reyes made his professional debut with Sevilla at the age of 16, moving to Arsenal in January 2004 for 17 million pounds and was part of the famous ‘Invincibles’ which won the Premier League that season without losing a game.
I’m devastated to hear the sad news about José Antonio Reyes. Wonderful player, superb team mate and exceptional human being. I wish his family and friends continued strength and courage to get through this difficult time. #takenfartoosoon
— Thierry Henry (@ThierryHenry) 1 June 2019
Numbed by the news about my former team-mate, Jose Antonio Reyes. Gone far too soon, my thoughts are with his family and friends
— Freddie Ljungberg (@freddie) 1 June 2019
He joined Real Madrid on loan in the 2006/07 season, winning the La Liga title and later joined neighbours Atletico before returning to boyhood club Sevilla in 2012, going on to lift three consecutive Europa League titles between 2014 and 2016.
He later played for Espanyol and then Chinese club Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard before returning to Spain to join Extremadura in January.
The entire footballing fraternity came together to pay last respects to the first-ever Spaniard to win the Premier League.
Jose, who was part of the Invincibles team, was a hugely popular figure at our club and will always hold a special place in our hearts.
Our thoughts are with all his family, friends and team-mates.https://t.co/NQgrRcvrPS
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) 1 June 2019
Eres ETERNO, Reyes. 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/dVfi4k33au
— LaLiga (@LaLiga) 1 June 2019
His last match was a 1-0 win at Alcorcon on May 18. Seven second-tier games due to be played on Sunday, including Extremadura’s match against Cadiz, were postponed until Tuesday.