Ivan Rakitic : “He is a part of my family”

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Spain international Jose Antonio Reyes, aged 35 has tragically died in a road accident occurred this morning in his home town Seville. The winger had 22 senior caps for Spain, scoring four goals, and had recently returned from a spell in China to play for Extremadura. Reyes came up through the Sevilla youth academy, also playing for Arsenal, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Benfica, Espanyol, Cordoba and Chinese club Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard.

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has paid tribute to former Sevilla star Jose Antonio Reyes:

“He was a teammate who everyone wanted.”

These two players had played alongside each other at the Andalusian club for two-and-a-half years before the Croatian was transferred to the Camp Nou in the summer of 2014.

Rakitic told reporters as cited by ABC.

“This is a really sad day for us all, I am speechless. He is one of the few who conveyed his joy from outside the pitch to the pitch, he was a teammate who everyone wanted. From the first day when he returned to Sevilla, it was as if he had returned in command, everyone wanted him: teammates, the club, the fans.”

“This is not just a former teammate who has left us, but someone who was part of my family. You do not get a chance to meet people like Jose Antonio that often and we connected from the first day that we met…also with his wife and family, I still cannot believe it.”

“ We were only just talking about a reunion a few days ago, to see each other again, and right now I do not know what to say. I want to support his family, his parents and his wife and everybody who loved him, I will be there to support them. ”

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