Jesus Navas Dedicates Europa League Title To Late Sevilla Players, Reyes And Puerta

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Jesus Navas dedicated Sevilla’s sixth Europa League title to former players Jose Antonio Reyes and Antonio Puerta.
Reyes was killed in a car crash last year at the age of 35, while Puerta was 22 when he died in 2007 after a series of cardiac arrests.

After Friday’s 3-2 win over Inter Milan, Navas said: “To raise this cup as captain of my Sevilla means so much.

“For friends who are no longer here – for Puerta, for Reyes, and for my godfather who has died.”

Reyes came through the youth system at Sevilla and made 253 appearances in two spells at the club. He also had a spell in the Premier League with Arsenal from 2004 until 2007.

Puerta also came through the ranks before making his debut in the 2003-04 season and went on to make 88 appearances.

“I hope Sevilla fans are proud of us,” added Navas. “We all lift the trophy because we are all captains.”

Former Manchester City winger Navas was part of the Sevilla side that won the trophy for the first time back in 2006.

He helped them win it again the following year and played a crucial role in their latest win, providing the assist for Luuk de Jong’s equaliser after Inter had taken the lead through Romelu Lukaku.

De Jong struck again to give Sevilla the lead before Diego Godin equalised.

However, Diego Carlos’ late effort was deflected into his own net by Lukaku to seal victory for Sevilla.

It was also Julen Lopetegui’s first trophy as a manager.

The 53-year-old had been sacked as Spain coach on the eve of the 2018 World Cup and later that same year he lasted just 14 games as Real Madrid boss.

“Lopetegui works 24 hours a day for Sevilla, he deserves this,” Navas said.

Lopetegui added: “It is very special. Always it is very special to win one cup. For us, for me, for the fans it is very special. We have a happy end.”

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