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FIFA president, Gianni Infantino has joined others in expressing deep

condolences at the passing of former Spain international  and Arsenal star, Jose Antonio Reyes.

The winger, who appeared at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, passed away at the age of 35 following a car accident.

“It is with great sadness and shock that I learned of the terrible and unexpected passing of Jose Antonio Reyes,” said the FIFA President. “My deepest condolences to his family and loved ones at this very difficult time.”

Reyes represented the likes of Sevilla, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Benfica and Espanyol, and turned out for Extremadura in the Spanish second flight in the second half of 2018/19.


He was part of the Arsenal side that conquered the Premier League in 2003/04, playing alongside the likes of Patrick Vieira, Freddie Ljungberg, Robert Pires, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry. In two of the Gunners’ last three games that season, Reyes got the equaliser against Portsmouth and the winner against Fulham to help preserve their unbeaten record and earn them the tag of ‘The Invincibles’.

Reyes appeared in the UEFA Champions League final defeat to Barcelona in 2006 and won La Liga with Real. He also claimed five UEFA Europa Leagues – three with Sevilla and two with Atleti.

Reyes was renowned for scoring wonder goals, including efforts against Chelsea, Middlesbrough, Standard Liege, Villarreal and Real Betis.

Reyes made his Spain debut, days after turning 20, in 2003 and went on to collect 21 caps.


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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