Betis Sevilla footballer Joaquín has announced that he will retire at the end of the season. The forty-one year old midfielder has decided to do so after twenty-three long years in pro football. But he should stay in football.
Full name Joaquín Sánchez Rodríguez was born on 21 July 1981 and in his professional career he has played for Valencia, Málaga and Fiorentina in addition to Betis. However, he spent a large part of his footballing life at the Sevilla club.
He made his La Liga debut in 2000, playing against Figo, Zidane, Carlos, Hierro, Puyol, among others. Many of the players he is currently playing with or against were not around then, such as Vinícius, Pedri and Gavi.
He has played 480 games for Betis, and is attacking Andoni Zubizarreta’s overall record in the Spanish league, which he has seven games to play. There are still nine rounds to go in La Liga.
He managed to win the Spanish Cup with Betis in 2005, and some remember him as a young discovery at the 2002 World Cup, where he almost reached the semi-finals with Spain.
He played a total of 51 games for the national team. He played in two subsequent major events, namely Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup. In total, he has 839 games, 112 goals and 102 assists.
Joaquín, who has been compared to the likes of Jesús Navas and Francesco Totti for his club loyalty, is likely to stay with football. He has said himself that he should move into Betis management.
“This is not goodbye, only ‘we will see each other soon”. Real Betis is my life and I will continue alongside him and continue to defend his colours,” Joaquín said in an emotional message on social media.
Since Wednesday, Betis’ Twitter account has been full of posts about Joaquín and his impending career end. Spanish and European football will lose a great clubman and patriot.
Sources: Twitter, Real Betis
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