Former Sevilla and Arsenal player Reyes dies in traffic accident

Former Arsenal star Jose Antonio Reyes dies in car accident aged 35

Jose Antonio Reyes, the ex-Arsenal and Spain forward, has died in a car crash at the age of 35, former club Sevilla have announced.

Reyes was the first Spaniard to win the Premier League.

His part in the Gunners' historic unbeaten Premier League triumph in 2004 will remain etched in the club's folklore, Arsene Wenger's men going through the season unbeaten.

Reyes is also the most decorated player in the Europa League, having won it five times.

He won the trophy three times with Sevilla and it was his boyhood club who confirmed his death in a car accident, aged 35, on Saturday.

Born in Utreta, less than 20 miles from the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, it was inevitable that Reyes would start his career with Sevilla, making his debut at 16, and helping them to promotion to LaLiga in 2001.

He scored 22 goals in 73 starts in four years, which attracted Wenger's interest.

He joined Arsenal for £10.5million in January 2004, scoring five goals in 21 games in all competitions during the second half of the seaosn as the unbeaten Gunners claimed the Premier League title.

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Jose Antonio Reyes
Arsenal's Manager Arsene Wenger talks about tomorrows game with Celta Vigo as Jose Antonio Reyes looks on
Arsenal's Thierry Henry sits on the bench for the game against Manchester United with Jose Antonio Reyes and Graham Stack
l-r; Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes celebrates scoring his equalising goal with Ashley Cole
Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes celebrates scoring the opening goal against Chelsea
Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes celebrates scoring the opening goal against Fulham with Thierry Henry
Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes signs autographs after the game
Arsenal players celebrate with the Premiership trophy (front row l-r Jose Antonio Reyes, Fredrik Ljungberg and Thierry Henry)
Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes celebrates with the Premiership trophy
Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes celebrates scoring the second goal against Manchester United with Jermaine Pennant
Arsenal's 'man of the match' Jose Antonio Reyes celebrates with the FA Community Shield trophy
Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes celebrates his goal
Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes walks off the pitch with an injury during the Barclays Premiership match at Highbury, London, Saturday October 30, 2004. THIS PICTURE CAN ONLY BE USED WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF AN EDITORIAL FEATURE. NO WEBSITE/INTERNET USE UNLESS SITE IS REGISTERED WITH FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION PREMIER LEAGUE.
Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes (c) celebrates scoring against Rosenborg with Ashley Cole (l) and Matthieu Flamini (r)
Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes celebrates scoring the equalising goal against Stoke City with Jermaine Pennant
l-r; Arsenal's opening goal socrer Robin van Persie is congratulated by Ashley Cole and Jose Antonio Reyes
Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes celebrates scoring against Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes celebrates his goal against Reading during the Carling Cup, fourth round match at Highbury Stadium, London, Tuesday November 29, 2005. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Photo credit should read: Sean Dempsey/PA. THIS PICTURE CAN ONLY BE USED WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF AN EDITORIAL FEATURE. NO WEBSITE/INTERNET USE UNLESS SITE IS REGISTERED WITH FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION PREMIER LEAGUE.
Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes celebrates scoring the 2nd goal against Portsmouth with Thierry Henry
Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes (L) celebrates his goal Manchester City during the Barclays Premiership match at the City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester.
Arsenal's Jose Antonio Reyes (R) scores the second goal against Manchester City during the Barclays Premiership match at the City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester.
Spain's Gutierrez Juanito celebrtates scoring the opening goal of the game with Raul and Jose Antonio Reyes
Real Madrid's David Beckham (l) is replaced by Jose Antonio Reyes
Jose Antonio Reyes, Athletico Madrid
Chelsea's Florent Malouda and Atletico Madrid's Jose Antonio Reyes during the UEFA Champions League Group Match match at the Vicente Calderon, Madrid.
Atletico Madrid's Antonio Lopez (holding Cup) celebrates victory with Raul Garcia (left) and Jose Antonio Reyes (right)
Sevilla's Jose Antonio Reyes celebrates with the UEFA Europa League trophy
Sevilla's Jose Antonio Reyes celebrates with his winners medal after winning the UEFA Europa League
Sevilla's Jose Antonio Reyes (left) and Sevilla owner Jose Castro Carmona (right) lift the UEFA Europa League trophy
Sevilla's Jose Antonio Reyes celebrates with the Europa League trophy
Sevilla's Jose Antonio Reyes celebrates with the Europa League trophy after the match during the match at St. Jakob-Park, Basel, Switzerland.
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A year later he helped Arsenal to FA Cup glory but was sent off in extra-time in the final before Arsenal beat Manchester United on penalties.

He was also a late substitute in Arsenal's 2-1 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona in 2006 and in the August he joined Real Madrid, initially on loan.

Reyes won LaLiga with Real before switching to city rivals Atletico for £12million in 2007 to officially end his Arsenal career after 110 appearances and 23 goals.

It was a successful four and a half years at the Vicente Calderon Stadium as Reyes helped Atletico win the Europa League in 2010 and 2012.

Success in Spain followed
Success in Spain followed (David Davies/PA)

He had rejoined Sevilla by the time Atletico lifted it in 2012 but had played in the early stages and it was the start of a love affair with the trophy.

With Sevilla he won it three more times as Unai Emery's side dominated the competition, winning it in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Reyes set up Carlos Bacca to score in the 2015 final against Dnipro as Sevilla won 3-2.

His fourth win was a Europa League record and he set another in 2016 when he collected a fifth winners' medal following Sevilla's 3-1 win over Liverpool.

Again, he did not play in the final but, under UEFA's rules, having played in the early stages he claimed a medal.

Reyes moved on a free to Espanyol later that summer and also played for Cordoba after a brief spell in China with Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard and joined Extremadura in Spain's second tier in January.

He won 21 caps for Spain, scoring four times and played in the 2006 World Cup.

He is survived by wife Noelia, whom he married in 2017.

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