• Profile

Jose Antonio Reyes, the Spanish Premier League pioneer

Getty Images

On the sad day of his unexpected death, we talk about the incredible career that Jose Antonio Reyes lived. He was a true Premier League pioneer.

This Saturday took us all by surprise with the sad news of Jose Antonio Reyes passing away after being involved in a car accident, he was a true pioneer.

One of the few Spaniards who came to the Premier League before it became a trend, Reyes lived a prolific career and won titles pretty much everywhere he went.

As one of the most talented wingers in his country’s history, this prodigal son of Sevilla FC is still the youngest player to make his debut in the club’s history.

Reyes was only 16 when manager Joaquin Caparros decided to hand him his first team debut with the club of his life.

The Utrera native was considered one of the most talented players at the time, he decided to allow the club to sell him during a difficult time for the institution.

The €13 million that they got for his transfer to Arsenal saved Sevilla FC’s economy, an amount that eventually rose to €20 million.

Reyes was about to jump-start an incredible career that spanned for the better part of 20 years.

Reyes became a real representative of the Andalucian culture that he took everywhere he went, it didn’t matter if it was China, Portugal or England.

Reyes always played with a wide smile on his face, he always did what he loved and he always felt grateful for it.

Out of the 10 clubs where he played, there are many stories we can tell about the titles he won during his prime.

The Arsenal FC days.

Even though he came during the winter transfer window, Jose Antonio Reyes was still an important part of the legendary Arsenal ‘Invincibles’.

The Spaniard became the first player from his country who won the Premier League, he was the one who made other English clubs turn their head to Spain and sign many more players from this country.

Reyes was a true trailblazer in this aspect, he was a trendsetter who truly played the best football of his career when he wore the Gunners’ jersey.

Jose was part of the English club for three seasons, he played at the top of his game under Arsene Wenger and he was also part of the squad that reached the 2005-06 UEFA Champions League.

The whole Arsenal family will never forget the time he lived with the club, they have been paying tributes to his memory throughout the whole Saturday.

But his time in England was only the beginning of an impressive career at club level that he was about to experience, Reyes won many more trophies after his Premier League career ended.

Wenger’s club decided to loan the player during his last year, a decision that brought even more success to his already impressive list of accolades.

Life in Madrid, the brace against Mallorca, and coming back home.

Jose Antonio Reyes touched many fans’ hearts upon his return to Spain, he decided to go back to his country on a loan to Real Madrid.

During that 2006-07 season under manager Fabio Capello, the Madridistas will never forget that brace he scored against Mallorca on La Liga’s last match of the season.

This victory granted Real Madrid a very important league title, it also upgraded Reyes’ prestige in Spanish football.

Atletico Madrid decided to bet on his talent and signed him from Arsenal during the summer of 2007, the player won two Europa League titles during his time there.

But the best was yet to come from Jose Antonio Reyes, the Utrera native finally fulfilled his dream of going back to the club of his life.

Reyes created a legend in the club from Nervion by being part of the squad that won three consecutive Europa League titles between 2013 and 2016.

Even though he isn’t commonly named amongst the best players in Spanish football history, Jose Antonio Reyes has a very successful career under his name.

It’s a true tragedy that we don’t have this wonderful human being walking among us.


In which club do you believe Jose Antonio Reyes was the most successful as a player? Please leave us your opinion in the comment section down below.