Real Betis legend and former Spain winger Joaquin will retire at the end of the season.
The 41-year-old announced on Wednesday he will call time on a career of incredible longevity when Betis’ campaign comes to an end.
Captain Joaquin made his Betis debut 23 years ago and returned to the LaLiga club in 2015 following spells with Valencia, Malaga and Fiorentina.
Only the great Andoni Zubizarreta has made more LaLiga appearances than Joaquin’s incredible 615, with the ex-Spain goalkeeper playing 622 times in the Spanish top flight.
Betis have nine games remaining this season, so Joaquin could take that record, although he has started only once this term.
He won the Copa del Rey for a second time with Betis last April and lifted the same trophy during his time with Valencia in 2008.
Joaquin won 51 caps for his country, playing in two World Cups and one European Championship.
Art is eternal.
Thank you for everything, captain. pic.twitter.com/IcZS7k6fOl
— Real Betis Balompié (@RealBetis_en) April 19, 2023
He said in a video posted on social media by Betis: “Life is a constant evolution, the secret is to have the ability to adapt to changes, face each day as a challenge and always put a little bit of art into everything.
“The road is full of emotions, names and moments keep resonating in my head. Oh, that magical night at the end of April in which I was able to fulfil a dream!
“Time flies so fast. Nothing is forever they say, but they are wrong. Don’t you know art? It is inspiration, emotion and transformation. For 23 years I have tried to make football an art and to be remembered from generation to generation.
“From the classic to the contemporary. Now all that remains is to hang up my boots, my art. A window into eternity.”
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