Real Betis captain Joaquín recently hit 800 games in professional football. He proudly plays in the colours of green and keeps himself in tremendous shape despite his twilight years.
The Man Behind the Smile that is Joaquín
The Evergreen Joaquín
He is a man evergreen in all senses. It is a sentiment confirmed by Real Betis’ Nutritionist Giuseppe Ricciardi:
“Many times we hear the phrase ‘it’s genetic’ about Joaquín, but it is much more than that. It is not only genetics and how he takes care of himself. It is also his positive attitude, his motivation to exceed, to know and listen to his body. To know how to manage himself and his hunger to strive even further. But we cannot forget one important component: To enjoy!
“When he has to do a physical test or study his corporal composition, he doesn’t lose his essence of making jokes. But he listens to me intently, memorizing my advice and soaking in my instructions, leaving my consultancy session smiling, happy. From then onwards, he doesn’t stop with that firm objective fixed in his mind to go forward. What’s most important is he takes in those instructions very clearly. He always and I mean always achieves what we have discussed and programmed. Full credit to his professionalism.”
‘A Great Player but an Even Better Person’
Former captain of Betis and the last Betis player to lift a trophy with the club was Juan José Cañas, who now works for the club in the scouting department. When remembering his former teammate, he was full of praise:
“Joaquín is a joyful and happy person and a terrific footballer who has already earned legendary status in the club with the likes of Rafael Gordillo and Julio Cardeñosa with what he has achieved in the game. He deserves to be held in that esteem of company. Yet he is a very humble and kind person who demonstrates his solidarity through his work for many charities. This shows his most personable and sincere character.
“There are many anecdotes from him such is his great sense of humour and warmth. On a visit to see him play in Valencia before the game he not only signed a Betis shirt for my son. But he also knocked on all the hotel rooms of the players to get them to sign his shirt too. That is the mark of the man. All what I think of Joaquín is positive – a great player but even better person.”
Joaquín a Record Breaker for Club and Country
Amazingly, the Betis attacker has played over 800 times in total for club and country with 51 caps for Spain. The respect he has earned throughout his illustrious career ensures in every stadium he plays in, he receives a thunderous applause from both sets of supporters. Supporters who come together to respect and pay homage to this most magnificent footballer and entertainer.
Joaquín the Entertainer
To explain why an entertainer is because he is pure entertainment. Football has not only been the sole love of Joaquín, as he grew up dreaming to be a bullfighter. But he realized his talent with the ball would serve him better. He possesses a passion for comedy and references Richard Gere and Leonardo Di Caprio as stars of the big screen he would admire.
The footballer’s charm, character and charisma married to his ability to tell an exhaustive amount of jokes endears him not just in the football world, but in entertainment circles too.
Joaquín is a standard-bearer as the joker-of-the-pack. He simply thrives on entertaining. He actively comments his tales on social media. His broad smile is infamous, and that enthusiasm ensures he regularly appears on social media where he is an online phenomenon. Naturally, he features heavily on radio and television broadcasts too. These appearances have included successfully hypnotizing a chicken live on television to driving the Betis team bus through an assault course: welcome to the wonderful world of Joaquín.
Game, Set and a Match Made in Málaga
He is also famous for an interview with the Brazilian footballer and former Real Madrid and Arsenal striker Julio Baptista during their Málaga days. When Joaquín answers: “Tennis,” to the question of what hobbies interest him, Baptista replies: “You’ve never played tennis in your life and you say tennis!” Joaquín infamously states: “I don’t even know how to pick up a racquet, Julio!”
To this day, that joke rumbles – to the extent Joaquín has created a clothing line entitled ‘Hulio’ in reference to his dear friend and THAT interview.
The Future for Joaquín
Joaquín has stated on many occasions he would love to go into the showbiz industry upon his footballing retirement. As football would lose a star; showbiz would gain a superstar. His likeable and personable nature, mixed with his core family values and high work ethic, have ensured he is held in the highest of esteem. Yet the humility of the man ensures he remains a cheerfully modest star both on the football field and in front of the camera.
This perfectly encapsulates the man behind the smile.