Evergreen Real Betis Captain Joaquin To Retire At End Of Season
Veteran Real Betis winger Joaquin has announced he will retire from football at the end of the season.
The 41-year-old has been a loyal servant to the Andalusian based club, and has already cemented his place as a club legend.
Joaquin, who is in his second spell at the club, made his professional debut for Real Betis in 2000 before leaving for Valencia in 2006.
He took in further spells at Malaga and Italian side Fiorentina before returning to Real Betis in 2015.
Joaquin became the oldest player ever to score a hattrick in La Liga when he scored three times inside the opening 20 minutes in a 3-2 win over Athletic Bilbao in December 2019.
Joaquin has won two Copa del Reys with Real Betis and has made 521 appearances in total for the club, scoring 68 goals.
Joaquin has represented Spain 51 times and played at the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups.
"I wanted to say my time has come," Joaquin said in an emotional post on social media.
"The time to tell you this is my last season as a Real Betis player.
"But this is not farewell, it is just 'see you soon' because I will continue by your side, defending my life, because Real Betis has been my life.
"I will live it in a different way but with the same feeling and the same joy of all these years."
Joaquin has made the second most appearances in La Liga history with 615. Only former Barcelona goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta with 622 has played more times in the competition.