RIP José Antonio Reyes: Football World Extends Sympathies for Former Arsenal & Sevilla Star

​Clubs, players and fans across the world have come together to pay tribute to former Spain international winger José Antonio Reyes, who passed away ​aged 35 following a car crash in his hometown of Utrera.

Reyes’ boyhood club Sevilla confirmed the news on social media on Saturday.

​​Breaking through into Sevilla’s first team aged 16, Reyes quickly became a fan favourite in Andalusia before securing a €20m move to Arsenal during the January transfer window in 2004.

His involvement in Arsène Wenger’s Invincibles side saw him become the first Spanish player to ever win the Premier League title. Reyes made a serious impact on fans during his time in north London, making over 100 appearances for the club before returning to Spain in 2006. 

A number of Reyes’ former teammates at Highbury have also expressed their sympathies on social media, including members of Arsenal’s Invincibles.


His former roommate at Arsenal, Cesc Fabregas, paid his tribute to Reyes on Instagram, posting a touching message with a collection of pictures from their time together in north London.

My first great friend in the world of professional football, my roommate, who always wanted to sleep with the air conditioning even at -10 degrees,” Fabregas wrote. “A humble guy who always had a smile on his face, great footballer and great person. 

“I could not wake up today in a worse way. I will never forget when you and your family welcomed me at your home on my first Christmas in England when I was alone and was 16 years old. 

“Two days ago I was talking about you in an interview, it might be a sign, who knows, to remember you, my great friend. I will never forget you, we will never forget you. Always in our hearts. Rest in peace, Jose Antonio Reyes. Love you very much.”

Reyes went on to enjoy spells with Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid when he first returned to Spain, eventually going on to return to Sevilla – via Benfica – where he was involved in the club’s historic three consecutive Europa League titles.

He eventually left the club in 2016, having 242 appearances for his boyhood side, where he scored 37 goals and claimed the same amount of assists.

After spending some time in China with Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard, Reyes returned to join Spanish second division side Extremadura UD.

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have confirmed matches that were due to be played this weekend in the Segunda División, including Extremadura’s game against Cádizhave been postponed until Tuesday.


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