Jose Antonio Reyes: Former Arsenal and Real Madrid Star Dies in Traffic Accident

June 2, 2019 Updated: June 3, 2019

Ex-Arsenal and Real Madrid star Jose Antonio Reyes has been killed in a traffic accident, his former club Sevilla FC tweeted on Saturday.

“Our beloved squad member Jose Antonio Reyes died in a traffic accident,” the club said.

Reyes made a name for himself playing for Sevilla, where he began his career as a young player in their football academy. Reyes made his professional debut for the club in 2000, at the age of 16.

The Spaniard would eventually move to a string of top-flight clubs around Europe, including Arsenal, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

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Captain Jose Antonio Reyes (C) of Sevilla lifts the Europa League trophy as players celebrate at the award ceremony after the UEFA Europa League Final match between Liverpool and Sevilla at St. Jakob-Park in Basel, Switzerland on May 18, 2016. (Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Arsenal tweeted that everyone at the club was “devastated” by the news, saying Reyes was “a hugely popular figure at our club,” who would “always hold a special place in our hearts.”

Thierry Henry, who played alongside him at Arsenal, paid tribute to Reyes as a “wonderful player, superb team mate and exceptional human being,” and offered his condolences to the footballer’s family and friends.

Spanish International

Reyes was also a Spanish international, having earned 21 caps for his country, and represented his nation at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Spain’s football federation expressed their condolences on Twitter.

“The RFEF (Real Federacion Espanola de Futbol) expresses its condolences for the death of Jose Antonio Reyes.”

The 35-year-old footballer also played for Benfica in Portugal, before making a return to Sevilla in 2011. His last first division team in Spain was Espanyol, where he played for one season in 2016.

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President of Sevilla FC Jose Castro Carmona poses with a plaque in tribute to Jose Antonio Reyes prior to the match between Sevilla FC vs FC Barcelona as part of the Spanish Super Cup Final 1st Leg at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in Seville, Spain on Aug. 14, 2016. (Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

The club also tweeted out their support.

“From RCD Espanyol we wish to express our heartfelt condolences and send all our support to the family and to those at Sevilla”, the club said.

The Spaniard was currently playing for Spanish second division side Extremadura.

On Saturday, the team tweeted news of his untimely death “with shrunken soul and broken heart,” adding: “We ask everyone to pray for his soul.”

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