·19 avril 2023
·19 avril 2023
Real Betis legend Joaquin Sanchez has announced that he will retire at the end of the season. The 41-year-old has been an ever-present through the 21st century of Spanish football, an excellent winger, and a unique character.
Los Verdiblancos published the news on their Twitter account on Wednesday evening, with the player stating on a video that ‘not everything is forever’.
‘Now it just remains for me to hang up my boots, my art. A window into eternity.’
Joaquin has to date made 839 club appearances, providing 112 goals, and 102 assists, to which he can add 51 Spain caps, 4 goals and 4 assists too.
He holds the record for club appearances at Real Betis (521), and is just 7 off the all-time record for La Liga appearances held by Andoni Zubizarreta (622).
Coming through the academy at Real Betis, he would go on to lift the Copa del Rey with them in 2005, before heading to Valencia, where he would win another in 2009. Thereafter he joined Malaga and Manuel Pellegrini, helping them reach the Champions League quarter-finals.
In 2013, he went to Fiorentina and played in Serie A for two seasons, before coming back Betis in 2015, where he has been since. Joaquin lifted a second Copa del Rey as captain in 2022, beating Valencia in the final on penalties, against who Betis will play in the final game of their season.
Joaquin has nine games to add to those tallies and potentially reach Zubizarreta’s record, with the potential reward of getting Betis into the Champions League too, for the first time since he left the club for Valencia.
His departure from the game will mark the end of an era for many, with Joaquin a constant in many people’s lives.
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