Tributes have poured in for José Antonio Reyes after the news that the former Arsenal, Sevilla and Spain forward has died in a car accident at the age of 35.
“We couldn’t be confirming worse news. Beloved Sevilla star José Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision. Rest in peace,” the Spanish club tweeted. Thierry Henry and Sergio Ramos are among the teammates to express their shock and sadness at the news.
Reyes was playing at Extremadura following a career that included eight years at Sevilla and spells at Atlético and Real Madrid. The forward was part of Arsenal’s 2003-04 squad that completed an unbeaten Premier League season, and earned 21 international caps for Spain.
“With a broken heart, Extremadura UD announce the death of their player José Antonio Reyes in a traffic accident,” the second-tier club tweeted. Seven matches that were due to be played this weekend in Spain’s Segunda División have been postponed until Tuesday.
“Everyone at Arsenal is devastated by the shocking news that our former player Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision in Spain,” the Premier League club tweeted. “Our thoughts are with all his family, friends and teammates.”
“José, who was part of the Invincibles team, was a hugely popular figure at our club and will always hold a special place in our hearts. He represented the club on 110 occasions, scoring 23 times and made memorable contributions to our 49-game unbeaten run.”
The Arsenal manager, Unai Emery, who coached Reyes at Sevilla, tweeted: “Deeply sad and speechless after hearing this tragic news. I will never forget your magic and your smile José, never. It was an honour to be by your side … a strong hug and all the support in the world to the families, friends and clubs that you represented. RIP amigo.”
Reyes also helped Arsenal win the FA Cup and Community Shield during his time at the club, as well as reaching the 2006 Champions League final. His former Arsenal teammates, Thierry Henry and Ray Parlour, took to Twitter to pay tribute.
“I’m devastated to hear the sad news about José Antonio Reyes,” Henry wrote. “Wonderful player, superb teammate and exceptional human being. I wish his family and friends continued strength and courage to get through this difficult time. Parlour added: “So sad. Team mate of mine and great talent. RIP José.”
Ramos tweeted in Spanish: “Broken. Destroyed. I have no words. All the love to the family. We’ll always remember you, friend! RIP brother.” Barcelona also tweeted, expressing “deepest condolences for the death of José Antonio Reyes, a brilliant and charismatic player.”
As well as winning three Europa League titles with Sevilla, Reyes was also part of the Atlético Madrid side that won the competition in 2010 and 2012. His former teammate, Manchester City’s Sergio Agüero, paid tribute to a “very good friend and teammate with whom I shared great moments. Much pain. My condolences and all my support to his family.” Atlético tweeted: “The Atlético de Madrid family is in mourning. Our former player José Antonio Reyes has passed away. You will forever be in our hearts. Rest in peace.”
Source : Theguardian.com