Former Spain, Arsenal midfielder Reyes dies in traffic accident
José Antonio Reyes, the former Spain midfielder who won five Europa League titles and was part of Arsenal’s unbeaten ‘Invincibles’ squad, has been killed in a traffic accident at the age of 35.
Sevilla and second-division club Extremadura, where Reyes played this past season, both confirmed the death yesterday.
“We couldn’t be confirming worse news. Beloved Sevilla star José Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision. Rest in peace,” Sevilla said on Twitter.
Reyes also played for Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid, among other clubs, in a professional career that spanned nearly 20 years, after making his debut for Sevilla as a 16-year-old.
He helped Arsenal go unbeaten through the 2003-04 season, scoring two crucial goals towards the end of the campaign to keep that record intact. He also won a Spanish league title with Real Madrid and five Europa League crowns with Sevilla and Atlético Madrid. He also made 21 appearances for Spain between, 2003-06.
“I am devastated to hear the terrible news about José,” former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said in a statement. “To his family and friends, all support from everyone in the Arsenal family. He will remain forever in our hearts.”
Arsenal said they would fly the club flag at half mast at their training ground yesterday.
Reyes’ former Arsenal teammate Thierry Henry also said he was “devastated” by the news.
“Wonderful player, superb teammate, and exceptional human being,” Henry wrote on Twitter.
Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, who, like Reyes came up through the youth ranks at Sevilla and played alongside him for Spain and Madrid, also expressed his sadness.
“Broken. Shattered. I have no words,” Ramos wrote in Spanish on Twitter. “All the love to the family. We’ll always remember you, friend! RIP brother.”
Because of the death, the Spanish football federation postponed the seven second-division matches that were scheduled to be played today.