Reyes, died Saturday morning after the car he was in crashed on a road in his hometown in Spain. He leaves behind a wife and three children

By Matt McNulty
June 01, 2019 01:33 PM
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Spanish soccer star Jose Antonio Reyes died on Saturday after a tragic car accident, El Mundo reported. He was 35.

Reyes, who had played for some of the biggest clubs in Europe including Premier League team Arsenal, was in a car traveling on a road in his hometown of Utrera, near Seville, when it crashed just before noon on Saturday.

The father of three was rushed to a nearby hospital, but emergency personnel were unable to save his life.

The athlete, who was the first Spaniard to win the Premier League, had also played for Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Extremadura in the Segundo Division and competed for teams in Lisbon, China and London.

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Reyes represented Spain in 21 World Cup games, and was a part of the team that won the World Cup in 2006. As a teenager, Reyes was the youngest player in Sevilla history to debut for the club at the age of 16, where he played for five years.

His teammates and colleagues reacted to the tragic news on social media, with former Sevilla teammate Sergio Ramos tweeting he was “broken, destroyed. I don’t have words.”

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The UEFA, which governs European soccer, wrote that “Reyes will be sorely missed by the football world.” And his longtime former team, Sevilla, expressed their condolences as well, tweeting “we couldn’t offer worse news. Our beloved player José Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic accident.”

Soccer’s overall governing body, FIFA, highlighted Reyes’ 2006 World Cup victory and posting a black-and-white picture of him on the field.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Jose Antonio Reyes today. Reyes was a member of Spain’s 2006 World Cup squad. Our condolences and best wishes are with his loved ones. RIP,” the organization said.

“Jose, 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. Our thoughts are with all his family, friends and team-mates,” Arsenal FC said.

“I am devastated to hear the terrible news about Jose. To his family and friends, all support from everyone in the Arsenal family. He will remain forever in our hearts,” said Arsène Wenger, who is Arsenal’s former manager.

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Reyes was married in June 2017 to Noelia Lopez, and leaves behind two daughters Noelia and Triana, as well as another son José Antonio from a previous relationship, according to El Mundo.

A minute-long moment of silence will be observed at Saturday’s Champions League Final.

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