José Antonio Reyes dies aged 35

Former Sevilla, Arsenal and Atletico Madrid forward Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a car crash at the age of 35, his boyhood club Sevilla have announced.

In a statement, Sevilla said: “We couldn’t be confirming worse news. Beloved Sevilla star Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision. Rest in peace.”

Spanish newspaper Marca reported that the accident happened in his hometown Utrera, a province of Seville, on Saturday morning.

Reyes made his debut for Sevilla aged 16 in the 1999-2000 season and moved to Arsenal in January 2004, winning the Premier League as part of the unbeaten “Invincibles” side.

He was sent off in extra time of the 2005 FA Cup final win over Manchester United and also lifted the Community Shield during his time at Highbury. His final appearance for the Gunners came in the 2-1 defeat to Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League final.

Reyes hoists the Europa League trophy – a trophy he was very familiar with.

Arsenal wrote on their Twitter account: “Everyone at Arsenal is devastated by the shocking news that our former player Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision in Spain. Rest in peace, Jose.”

Reyes, who won 21 caps for Spain, joined Real Madrid on loan later that year, winning La Liga, and then making a permanent move to Atletico Madrid – with whom he won the Europa League twice – a year later.

A loan spell at Benfica followed before Reyes returned to Sevilla, helping them to three consecutive Europa League triumphs and becoming the tournament’s record winner with five overall.

He then went on to play for Espanyol and Cordoba before moving to Xinjiang in China and returning to Spain with Extremadura in January.

Reyes’ final match was a 1-0 win at Alcorcon on May 18. Extremadura are due to play at Cadiz on Sunday.

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