When you say that you are leaving, you have actually already left … Perhaps only for that reason Joaquín Sánchez Rodríguez does not yet officially announce his retirement at the end of this 2021-22 that begins in a few weeks, but during a summer in which the Betis captain does not stop emitting signals about his countdown. In a week, the portuense turns 40 and more than 20 seasons as a professional since he made his debut as a Verdiblanco in the Second Division, during 2000-01.
20 years is nothing, Gardel sang in tango, but in football it sure is. The official media of the They published a video in which Joaquín shows that sublime touch of the ball that has improved even over the years. Speed and physique are something else. Also the spirit. “They can’t do this to me in my senior year,” joked the footballer during the first morning of concentration in Bad Ragaz, because of the bad weather.
* Data updated as of July 14, 2021
And it’s not the last goodbye sign in a few days. The soccer player from El Puerto announced a few days ago that he has signed with Atresmedia to host his own program and a documentary series about his career. Something like the epitaph of an extensive career that will not only continue with the show, it will also be linked to football with a position, it will be seen whether sports or not, at Betis. Joaquín, in addition to many other things, is an important shareholder of the Verdiblanco club, with 2 percent of the club’s titles.
The captain will leave with people in the Villamarín stands and also in the LaLiga stadiums, many of whom have shown their respect these years and will do so again for the last time. It’s what he wanted: “Retiring for a year with the stands empty was very sad. After so long, having to leave like this without the heat and affection of your people is something that of course I did not want. The teammates, the fans and the people encourage you to continue. It was a sad year to retire and I am happy to be able to take another year. “