Former Arsenal star Jose Antonio Reyes has been killed in a car crash in Spain.
The 35-year-old was involved in a serious car accident in his home town of Utreta on Saturday.
Sevilla, where Reyes had two spells, confirmed the tragic news: “We couldn’t be confirming worse news. Beloved Sevilla star José Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision. Rest in peace.”
Reyes spent three seasons at Arsenal between 2004 and 2007, having arrived halfway through the club’s Invincibles season for £17m.
Reyes also enjoyed spells with Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Espanyol.
He earned 21 caps for Spain and joined second-tier Extremadura in January. Reyes was expected to play against Cadiz on Sunday, with that match now unlikely to go ahead.
He had two daughters Noelia and Triana with wife Noelia Lopez, who he married in June 2017.
Reyes made his debut for Sevilla at the age of 16 after coming through the ranks before joining Arsenal in 2004.
Reyes struggled to settle in England but became the first Spaniard to win the Premier League with Arsenal.
The Gunners posted an emotional tribute tto their former striker.
“Everyone at Arsenal is devastated by the shocking news that our former player Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision in Spain,” it read.
“Our thoughts are with all his family, friends and team-mates.
“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.”
Last May, Reyes thanked Arsene Wenger for the impact he had on his career.
“He has an incredible personality as a manager, he always knows what he is doing. He had a great impact on my career,” he said.
On the Invincibles’ campaign, he said: “It’s an unforgettable feeling to finish the season undefeated.
“To be part of that team full of legends is an unforgettable memory.”
Former teammate Thierry Henry expressed his sadness on social media, posting: “I’m devastated to hear the sad news about José Antonio Reyes. Wonderful player, superb team mate and exceptional human being.
“I wish his family and friends continued strength and courage to get through this difficult time.”
He would later return to boyhood club Sevila in 2012, winning the Europa League on three separate occasions.
Reyes won the tournament twice at Atletico Madrid, making him the most-successful player in the history of the competition.
Atletico posted an emotional tribute, insisting the club was mourning for Reyes who will “always be in our hearts”.
Reyes was tipped to return to the Emirates in a coaching role alongside former boss Unai Emery last summer after a brief spell in China.
Former Arsenal teammate Freddie Ljungberg also paid tribute on social media.
“Numbed by the news about my former team-mate, Jose Antonio Reyes. Gone far too soon, my thoughts are with his family and friends,” he tweeted.
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