By Hanning Mbabazi
Jose Antonio Reyes, a former Arsenal, Sevilla and Real Madrid star died in a car crash on Saturday morning, at the age of 35. Reyes was involved in a traffic collision in Utrera, the town of his birth located just outside of Seville. No further details have been announced. A statement from Sevilla’s English Twitter account read: ‘We couldn’t be confirming worse news. Beloved Sevilla star Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision. Rest in peace.’ José Antonio Reyes Calderón was a Spanish professional footballer born on 1st June 1983 and played mainly as a left winger and at times as a forward.
He made his professional debut for Sevila at only 16, signing for England’s Arsenal in January 2004. He returned to Spain after two years, going on to represent the two largest clubs in Madrid, Real and Athletico Madrid, and winning La Liga.He also had a short loan spell in Portugal with Benfica, re-joining Sevilla late in his career and winning the Europa League three times for a record total of five. He was playing for Extremadura UD when he died in a car crash at the age of 35. Reyes earned 21 caps for Spain, and represented the nation at the 2006 world cup.
Reyes won his first full cup for Spain on 6 September 2003, coming on as a half-time substitute during a 3–0 friendly in against Portugal in Guimaraes. On 11 October, again coming from the bench, this time for Vicente, he scored twice in the final three minutes of a 4–0 win in Armenia for the UEFA Euro 2004 qualifiers but was left out of Inaki Saez’s final squad. Two years later, Reyes was picked for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, but only appeared once in four matches – the 1–0 group stage win against Saudi Arabia, with Spain already qualified in first place. He was again overlooked for the victorious Euro 2008 tournament, as manager Luis Aragones preferred the likes of David Silva and Santi Cazorla on the wings. Reyes also appeared once for the Andalusia autonomous team.