José Antonio Reyes Calderón
Seville) is a
Spanish football striker.
Reyes signed for the
Arsenal football club during the January transfer window of the
2003-2004 season from
Sevilla for a club record of £17.5 million. He got off to a disappointing start with an own goal against
Middlesbrough in the Carling Cup. However he scored twice against
Chelsea to knock them out of the
FA Cup, then scored a
UEFA Champions League goal and consecutive goals in the penultimate two games of the season, which kept Arsenal's unbeaten run going.
Hat-tricks in friendlies during the summer showed an improvement and he was a prominent influence on Arsenal's impressive start to the
2004-2005 season, in which he managed to score in first 6 games consecutively. However he fared badly during the middle of the season after Arsenal FC's defeat by the Manchester United side at Old Trafford in 2004. His undoubted skill brought little reward for much of the season, and yet towards the end of this season he has scored 3 valuable goals in something of a renaissance. Reyes has also played for the
Spanish national team. On
2005 Reyes became only the second player in history, after
Kevin Moran, to be sent off in an
FA Cup final after he was dismissed for a second yellow card.
He was also reported to have been homesick while at Arsenal and during a prank call perpetrated by
COPE Radio of Spain in
February 2005, a prankster claiming to be the supremo of
Real Madrid reportedly called Reyes' agent and spoke to Reyes himself about a possible transfer to the Spanish giants. In the ensuing conversation, Reyes allegedly declared that life in
London was far from what he has envisioned and he would not discount a welcoming move back to his native Spain and to play for the
Madrid team. To rub salt to the wound, Reyes also supposedly said that he wanted out of the club as there were 'bad people' at Arsenal. He may have been referring to his
Thierry Henry and
Patrick Vieira who demanded commitment in performances for Arsenal and both of them were known to have stared coldly at Reyes in admonishment whenever he botched a lovely set-piece or was apparently selfish in front of goal. However, he ended speculation about a move away from
Highbury in July
2005 when he signed a new six year contract and declared that he was 'looking forward to having many more successful years at the club.'
His relationship with Henry may also have been soured when
Spanish international coach Luis Aragonés, attempting to motivate Reyes during a training session, allegedly told Reyes that he was "better than that black shit Henry". Their on-pitch behaviour towards each other, however, has indicated that they have patched up their differences. Reyes currently has 4
caps, scoring 2 goals.