Real Betis captain Joaquin Sanchez has agreed on a new one-year contract with the Seville-based side, ensuring that he can continue to play La Liga football well into his 40s.
On May 2 at the Nuevo Zorrilla stadium, Joaquin Sánchez matched goalkeeper José Ramón Esnaola as the Betic footballer with the most official matches in the club’s history (460). He then broke the record on the 10th of this month in the match against Granada at Villamarin. Two days later, the portuense beat Huesca at home to set the record for most games played in a season (462).
Joaquin, who will turn 40 in July, made his debut for Betis in the Second Division in the 2000/01 season. It was when Fernando Vázquez named him as a starter on the first day of the season. The venue was Compostela field after a season in the subsidiary. Betic, specifically José Ramón Esnaola as coach.
Joaquin made his Betis debut at the age of 19 in 2000 before joining Valencia six years later. Before returning in 2015, he spent time with Malaga and Fiorentina.
With 579 appearances in Spain’s top flight, he is second only to former Barcelona goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta (622). He will be the only player from the 2002 World Cup currently competing in La Liga next season.
Rather than filling a small role as a club ambassador, the winger was a key member of manager Manuel Pellegrini’s squad last season. He made 30 starts in all competitions as Betis ended sixth and qualified for the Europa League.