Jose Antonio Reyes, the former Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid soccer star, has died Saturday in a car accident in southern Spain, according to the club in which he debuted, Sevilla FC.
“We couldn't be confirming worse news. Beloved Sevilla star Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision. Rest in peace,” the Spanish team posted to Twitter.
Reyes, who had been playing for Extremadura UD, died aged 35 in a traffic accident on Saturday morning when the car in which he was traveling went off the road and burst into flames, according to emergency services.
Sources from Andalusia’s Emergency Services confirmed to Efe the accident had taken place, adding that they received several calls reporting the incident.
Firefighters and members of the Civil Guard and health services were at the scene.
Real Madrid, where Reyes played on loan between 2006 and 2007, said it was “deeply sorrowed and saddened by the death of our former player, José Antonio Reyes.”
“Real Madrid CF wishes to convey its condolences to his family, friends and teammates, with whom the club shares the tremendous pain caused by his passing. The club also extends its condolences to his current team, Extremadura UD,” the club added in a statement.
Extremadura, which competes in the second division league, said it was “broken hearted” over the death of Reyes, who had joined the club earlier this year.
The squad learned of his death while on the bus to the Andalusian city of Cadiz, where they were scheduled to take on UD Cadiz in a league match.
Reyes had been left out of the squad.
Authorities in the town of Utrera, Seville province, where the accident happened, declared two days of mourning and said flags would be at half-staff.
The statement added that one of Reyes relatives also died in the accident.
Utrera mayor José María Villalobos said he was “dismayed by the sad news, a person who is still young and has a family has gone.”
Sources inside Extremadura UD told Efe it was trying to postpone the league match against Cadiz, scheduled for Sunday.
Later on, the Spanish soccer federation announced the postponement of seven second-tier matches scheduled for Sunday.
“After learning about the death of the Spanish international soccer player José Antonio Reyes, who was playing for Extremadura UD, the Royal Spanish Football Federation decided to postpone, with the approval of the National Professional Football League, the seven Second Division matches that were to be played on June 2, 2019,” the Federation said.
Atletico Madrid, who Reyes played for in the 2007/2008 season and between 2009 and 2012 after a year-long spell at Benfica, said it was saddened by the news of Reyes’ death.
“The Atletico 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,” Atletico tweeted.
Benfica, meanwhile, said: “We're devastated to hear of the passing of our former player José Antonio Reyes. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. Rest in peace, José.” EFE