José Antonio Reyes killed in car accident in Seville
The former Real Madrid, Arsenal and Sevilla midfielder's death has been confirmed through the Andalusian club's official social media platforms.
José Antonio Reyes has been killed in a traffic accident in his hometown of Utrera, Sevilla FC confirmed on Saturday morning. The incident happened at 11:40 hours this morning when the car in which Reyes was travelling in veered off the A-376 motorway from de Seville to Utrera and burst into flames. Two other passengers were in the car with Reyes, one of whom has also been confirmed dead.
UEFA have confirmed that there will be a minute's silence for Reyes before the 21:00 kick-off of the Champions League final between Tottenham and Liverpool tonight.
Reyes' career took him to England, Portugal and China
Reyes came up through Sevilla’s youth academy – a pupil of Joaquín Caparrós who labelled him “the most talented player I have coached”. He remains the youngest player to have made their top flight debut with Sevilla, making his first appearance in the Week 22 meeting with Zaragoza. His qualities - blistering pace, set-pieces expertise and passing ability were noted by Arsenal scouts and became one of the first Spanish players to make the transition from LaLiga to the Premier League, joining the Gunners in 2004. It proved to be a big change for Reyes, who never really settled in London and missed the way things were back home in Seville. He returned to Spain to join Real Madrid on loan with Júlio Baptista going in the opposite direction. A year later he signed for Atlético de Madrid – the start of a series of moves which included spells at Benfica, back to Sevilla, Espanyol and a short stint in China with Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard FC. His last club was Extremadura, who he joined at the start of this year. With Sevilla, he played a total of 253 games during his two spells at the club.
International with Spain
Reyes hold the record for being the player with the most Europa League winners medals – he won the tournament five times – twice with Atlético de Madrid three times with Sevilla. He was capped 21 times for Spain.
World football community stunned and saddened
Reyes' death caused a huge reaction on social media with messages pouring in from his former clubs, colleague and fans. Sergio Agüero, his old team mates at Atlético wrote: "Devasted to learn of the pasing of José Antonio Reyes, a great friend and team mate with whom I shared some wonderful moments. I'm so upset. My condolences and my total support to his family and loved ones".
Joaquín Caparrós, who played such a pivotal part in Reyes' formative years, wrote: "I'm distraught and shattered. I can't believe that you have left us. My deepest sympathy to all of your family and sevillismo. We'll remember you forever captain".
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