Former Arsenal, Real Madrid star Jose Antonio Reyes passes away after being involved in car crash

Madrid: Former Arsenal, Real Madrid and Spain star Jose Antonio Reyes has been killed in a car crash, his hometown club Sevilla said on Saturday. He was 35.

 Former Arsenal, Real Madrid star Jose Antonio Reyes passes away after being involved in car crash

File image of Jose Antonio Reyes. Reuters

Reyes, who shot to fame at Sevilla before a switch to Arsenal, followed by spells at Real and Atletico Madrid, was on the books with second-tier Spanish club Extremadura.

"We couldn't be confirming worse news. Beloved Sevilla star Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision. Rest in peace," Sevilla, where he spent two four-year spells, said on Twitter.

The emergency services in Andalusia and the authorities in the player's home town, Utrera, said Reyes died in an accident on the main road from Sevilla to Utrera. They said another member of his family also died and a third person was injured.

Spain captain Sergio Ramos, who is also from the province of Seville, came through the youth team just after Reyes and later played with him at Real Madrid also tweeted his grief.

"Broken. Shattered. I have no words. All the affection for the family. We will always remember you, my friend! RIP brother," wrote Ramos.

Reyes won a European under-21 title with Spain in 2002 and went on to play 21 times for Spain between 2003 and 2006, scoring four goals.

He won Premier League and FA Cup medals at Arsenal and came on as a late substitute when the Gunners lost the 2006 Champions League final to Barcelona.

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Mi primer gran amigo en el mundo del fútbol profesional, mi compañero de habitación, que siempre quería dormir con el aire acondicionado aún estando a -10 grados. Un tipo humilde que siempre tenía una sonrisa en su cara, grandísimo futbolista y fenomenal persona. No podía despertarme hoy de peor forma. Nunca olvidaré cuando tu y tu familia me acogisteis en vuestra casa en mis primeras navidades en Inglaterra cuando yo estaba solo y tenía 16 años. Nunca olvidaré nuestros partidos de fútbol tenis en el gimnasio antes y después de los entrenamientos. Nuestra conexión en el campo también fué especial, ya que era siempre fácil encontrarte entre líneas para que tu después marcaras las diferencias. Yo siempre digo que has sido uno de los talentos más grandes de nuestro fútbol y sé que no me equivoco. Hace 2 días estaba hablando de ti en una entrevista, puede que fuera una señal, quién sabe, para acordarme de ti, mi gran amigo. Nunca te olvidaré, nunca te olvidaremos. Siempre en nuestros corazones. Descansa en paz Jose Antonio Reyes. Te quiero mucho. Cesc

A post shared by Cesc Fàbregas (@cescf4bregas) on

He helped Sevilla win the Spanish second division in his first stint at the club. He won the Europa League five times, twice with Atletico Madrid and three times in his second spell at Sevilla.

He also won domestic league titles with Real Madrid and Benfica.

After leaving Sevilla in 2016, Reyes played for Espanyol, Cordoba and Xinjian Tianshan in China, before arriving at Extremadura this year as a free agent.

"With broken hearts we announce the news of our player Jose Antonio Reyes' death in a car crash and we ask for you to pray for his soul," Extremadura said.

Monchi, who overlapped with Reyes as a player at Sevilla and is now the club's director of football, also tweeted his sadness and referred to wingback Antonio Puerta, who died of a cardiac arrest playing for Sevilla in 2007.

"Impossible news to believe, impossible to digest, that hard my God," wrote Monchi. "What a left flank you are going to make, Antonio and you, up there."

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Updated Date: Jun 01, 2019 18:19:20 IST