Joaquín: “How difficult it is to part with my entire life”

“It hasn’t withdrawn my physique, it has withdrawn my head, it was the right moment”

“I am here to contribute and feel useful. I would love to be close to sports, but I have to learn”


The Real Betis player, Joaquín Sánchez, confessed this Thursday that it is “difficult” to get rid of the Verdiblanco club, his “entire life”, after announcing his professional retirement after 23 seasons in the elite, ensuring that he leaves “with peace of mind”. that he fulfilled his “duty”, after a “considered”, “clear” and “firm” decision in which the physical section had no influence.

“How difficult it is to say ‘I’ve come this far’. How difficult it is to get rid of what has been part of my life for as long as I can remember, practically my entire life. Making the decision earlier would have been early, and making it later would have been late I will always look for a way to contribute what I can to the team of my life. How could it have happened so quickly…”, the winger started during the farewell event after announcing his goodbye to professional football on Wednesday.

The 41-year-old Verdiblanco captain was accompanied by his teammates from the first team; the technician Manuel Pellegrini; the president of the entity, Ángel Haro; the vice president, López Catalán; the CEO, Ramón Alarcón, and a large part of the Board of Directors, as well as club legends such as Rafael Gordillo and his family.

In a very emotional act, in which Joaquín could not hold back the tears, he assured that “this is not a goodbye”, since “now another stage begins”. “I’m getting on another train with the same illusion and the same desire as that boy from Puerto who dreamed of wearing the Real Betis first team shirt,” he added.

“I am here to contribute and feel useful. I would love to be close to sports, but I have to learn,” he pointed out about the future, before joking about the possibility of being president of the club. “Who wouldn’t like to be president of Betis, but it’s not my place, it’s Ángel’s. My goal is to add and feel happy,” he said.

Joaquín insisted that it was not “a decision that he made lightly”, but that “it has been quite thoughtful”, since the withdrawal “was much more on his mind” this year. “It was something that I could not bear. There is no better moment than this, nor did I want to condition my retirement to the subject of getting into the Champions League or the record of matches. I am 41 years old, at some point I had to retire”, he explained about a decision “clear” and “firm” before an “equally exciting” future.


“My physique has not withdrawn from me, although it is true that age takes its toll. My head has withdrawn more from me, but not because I was bored, but because I felt that it was the right moment, my body asked me to do it now I continue to enjoy and train well. I will now have my adaptation process, the first thing is 5-6 months of vacation, but the mental issue will not be easy, football will always be around me”, he argued about the reasons for his bye bye.

The Verdiblanco captain admitted that he is “scared” to miss football “more than necessary”. “The smell of the locker room, wet grass, boots, showering with your teammates, laughing at jokes. That does scare me, it’s inevitable, but I’ll try to assimilate it as quickly as possible,” he added.

The footballer “looked back” to realize “that it was not easy” at the beginning. “I was lucky when Fernando Vázquez called me to join the first team. I remember that moment as if it were yesterday, I called my father to tell him that I was already a player for the best team in the world, Real Betis Balompié”, the player recalled as ” the best moment” in the verdiblanco.

The winger stressed that he does not understand “football or life without joy”, although he acknowledged that his character could “take its toll at some point”. “In so many years I could have been wrong at some point, if that was the case, I apologize to whoever could have offended. But I do not regret anything, I have always tried to enjoy myself with respect and professionalism,” he highlighted.

Regarding his current coach, with whom he also coincided at Málaga, Joaquín was “happy to end his career as a professional footballer.” “He has helped me to move forward, when I didn’t know whether to continue or not. He has always supported me. Hopefully this year we can finish in the best possible way. He has tried to convince me not to retire until the last moment, the admiration is mutual” , desire.

“I am leaving with the peace of mind that I did my duty, I have given everything I had. Joaquín leaves, but Betis stays. It is eternal. Thanks to my Betis fans, the only thing that gives meaning to this club, faithful where there are, happy and suffering, that of the ‘manque perdera'”, concluded Joaquín before confirming that there will be a tribute match to say goodbye in which he will bring together players from his first and second stage as Verdiblanco on a “very beautiful” day.