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Friday, December 15, 2006

Jose Antonio Reyes born September 1, 1983 in Utrera, Seville. Joined the youth ranks of Seville club Sevilla FC at the age of 10. His talent was identified at an early age, and he represented the club at all youth levels. He finally signed a full contract in 1999 at the age of 15. Reyes made his senior debut at the age of 16 as a substitute in a game against Real Zaragoza, and he was later called up to Spain's under-17 youth national team for the Under-17 European Championships. Reyes established his reputation as a versatile forward, playing either as a left winger or a support striker. He is a good passer and has strong dribbling skills. His 22 goals in 86 matches, over four seasons at Sevilla led to other clubs taking notice, but Reyes' popularity with the club's fans made a move to a bigger Spanish club politically difficult for Sevilla FC's club president.

Despite Sevilla manager Joaquín Caparrós wishing to hang onto him, Reyes signed with English club Arsenal FC during the January transfer window of the 2003-04 season. The £9m fee was negotiated with top ups, depending on the success of Arsenal, which could rise to £17m.

He made his debut on February 1, 2004 in a 2-1 win over Manchester City. Two days later he scored an own goal against Middlesbrough in the Carling Cup. Later that month, Reyes scored twice against Chelsea to knock them out of the FA Cup. He also scored against Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal, and his goals in the penultimate two games of the season helped keep Arsenal's unbeaten run in the FA Premier League going.

Reyes was linked to Real Madrid along with in the summer of 2006, when the candidate Arturo Baldasano of the then on-going Real Madrid presidential campaign claimed he would sign them, if elected. Reyes further hinted towards a transfer to Real Madrid. On August 31, 2006 it was announced that a deal had been reached and that the transfer of Jose Antonio Reyes to Real Madrid had been completed, Reyes scored his first goal with Real Madrid on September 17, 2006 on a free kick against Real Sociedad.

Now enjoy watching a compilation of Reyes best moments in Arsenal.