ALBERTO MORENO showed some things are bigger than football – even at the Champions League final – as he shed tears for Jose Antonio Reyes and wore a special T-shirt in a tribute to his tragic friend.
Unused Liverpool sub Moreno showed his distress during a minute’s applause for his former Sevilla and Spain team-mate, who died today in a car crash aged 35.
And when Moreno raised the trophy afterwards to salute the Reds’ 2-0 win over Tottenham, he looked sombre as he displayed a white T-shirt with a printed photo of Reyes on it.
Spurs’ Spanish striker Fernando Llorente, who came on for Dele Alli, was just as tearful before tonight’s showpiece at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium.
Left-back Moreno, 26, and frontman Reyes were together at Sevilla from 2012-2014, winning the Europa League in their final season.
And Reyes’ death has brought powerful tributes from former team-mates and managers.
Reyes was one of Arsenal’s 2003-04 Invincibles, before playing for Real and Atletico Madrid ahead of his second spell with Sevilla.
One of the most moving messages came from ex-Gunner Cesc Fabregas, who recalled how Reyes invited him for Christmas when the midfielder was alone in England aged 16 after moving from Spain.
Fabregas, 32, praised his “first great friend in professional football” as a “humble.. phenomenal person”.
He added: “I’ll always say you’ve been one of the biggest talents of our football.
“Two days ago I was talking about you in an interview. It might be a sign, who knows, to remember you, my great friend… I love you so much.”
Fellow Arsenal legend Thierry Henry and current Emirates boss Unai Emery, who was Reyes’ manager at Sevilla, also proffered touching tributes.
Henry called Reyes a “wonderful player, superb team-mate and exceptional human being”.
And Emery said: “I’ll never forget your magic and your smile, Jose. It was an honour to be by your side.”