Spain and Real Betis legend Joaquin announces decision to retire at end of season
Spain and Real Betis legend Joaquin has announced that he will retire at the end of the season.
The 41-year-old winger is currently in his second spell at Betis having come through the club’s academy in 2000.
He helped them win the Copa del Rey in 2005 before leaving to play for Valencia, Malaga and Fiorentina and then returning to Betis in 2015.
“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.”
Last year, Joaquin captained Betis to a second Copa del Rey title, beating Valencia in the final on penalties.
In total, he made 521 appearances for Betis in his two spells at the club, scoring 68 goals.
With nine games of the season remaining, he could surpass Andoni Zubizarreta’s record of most La Liga appearances (622) as he sits just seven off the landmark.