Joaquín Sánchez Rodríguez, known simply as Joaquín, is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for and captains Real Betis and the Spain National Team as a right winger. He is well known for his pace and acceleration, as well as excellent dribbling and crossing ability. During his career he was mainly associated with Betis and Valencia, appearing in 518 La Liga matches over 16 seasons and scoring 66 goals. In the competition he also represented Málaga, signing with Fiorentina from Italy in 2013. Joaquín was capped for Spain on 51 occasions, representing the nation in two World Cups and one European Championship. Joaquín was born in El Puerto de Santa María, Province of Cádiz. In 1999–2000 he started his senior career, appearing regularly for Real Betis B (after spending five years in the youth ranks) as it was eventually relegated from the third division.
Barcelona vs Betis
November 11th 2018
Match Worn & Signed Boots
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These boots were worn by Joaquin during the La Liga’s game between Barcelona and Real Betis which took place in Barcelona, “Camp Nou” Stadium, on November 11th 2018. Real Betis recorded their first victory in the Camp Nou in two decades in a seven-goal thriller against league leaders Barcelona which ended 4-3 to the visitors and Barcelona lost a home league match for the first time in two years. Joaquin scored one of the four goals.
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In the 2000-2001 season Joaquin moved to the Real Betis first team, making his professional debut on 26 August 2000 and having an immediate impact – 38 matches and three goals – as the Andalusians returned to La Liga after one year out. Subsequently, Joaquín collected well over 200 official appearances for Betis in the following five years, assisting and scoring alike. During 2004–05 he played in all the games scoring five times, and added three goals in the campaign’s Copa del Rey: in the latter, as the final was played at the Vicente Calderón Stadium on 11 June 2005, he played the full 90 minutes plus extra time as Betis won 2–1 against CA Osasuna. In the following season’s UEFA Champions League, Joaquín appeared in all six group stage games for Betis, including the 1–0 triumph over Chelsea and a 0–0 draw against Liverpool, at Anfield (third-place finish, UEFA Cup “demotion”). In late July 2006, following a conversation with Joaquín, Betis chairman José León stated that the player had convinced him that he would stay at the club for another year. “It has surprised me a lot,” he admitted. “I came to convince him and on the contrary, he has convinced me”, he further added. In mid-August, the player caused shock at the club by declaring in a press conference his intentions to leave and so he did. On 31 August 2015, Joaquín returned to Betis by signing a three-year contract. In 2017, he acquired a 2% share in his first club. On 15 September 2019, Joaquín found the net in a 1–1 draw against Getafe CF, marking his 400th appearance for the green-and-whites – he also drew level with Julio Cardeñosa as the player with most Spanish top-tier appearances for Betis with 307. On 8 December, he scored an 18-minute hat-trick (the first of his long career) in a 3–2 home win over Athletic Bilbao, becoming the oldest player ever to achieve the feat in La Liga at the age of 38 years and 140 days, breaking the previous record of 37 years set by Alfredo Di Stéfano in 1964. At the end of the year, he agreed to an extension until 2021.
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Joaquín made his debut for the Spain national team on 13 February 2002 against Portugal, in a 1–1 friendly played in Barcelona. Brilliant club form for Betis saw him get called up for that year’s FIFA World Cup, where he appeared twice: in his second match, the quarter-finals against co-hosts South Korea, he was involved in a couple of debatable decisions, including one incident where the linesman raised his flag for a goal kick as Joaquín was crossing a ball to Fernando Morientes, who was denied a golden goal – the argument was that the ball had crossed the line. However, replays showed that it did not; the game then went to penalties, and he was chosen to take Spain’s fourth attempt – despite carrying an injury – which was blocked by Lee Woon-jae. Joaquín played again for Spain through the nation’s premature exit at UEFA Euro 2004, also being selected for the 2006 World Cup. He totalled five appearances, but was not first-choice at either competition, only starting twice overall. During the early stages of the Euro 2008 qualification campaign, Spain lost 2–3 against Northern Ireland. After the match, Joaquín told in a Spanish radio interview: “Right now, the national team is a mess, chaos and Luis doesn’t know how to handle it in these difficult moments. I know that what I’m saying is not going to help me get back into the national team, but it’s what I feel.” He later commented, “The only thing I wanted to say is that these are not clear times for the national squad after losing to Northern Ireland …. but it was not my intention to attack the team or Luis Aragonés”; subsequently, he failed to be selected again as the national side went on to record 35 consecutive games without defeat, winning a record 15 consecutive times and lifting the Euro 2008, 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 trophies. Joaquín grew up in a big family, with eight brothers and sisters in total. As the third child, he had two elder brothers. Three of the eight children in this family are or have been engaged in football: besides Joaquín, his elder brother Lucas played for Cádiz CF, and his brother Ricardo also played in Betis’ youth ranks. Growing up, Joaquín wanted to be a bullfighter. Joaquín’s uncle, nicknamed “El Chino”, firmly believed in Joaquín’s talent and paid for his daily round trip between Cádiz and Seville when Joaquín was in Betis’ youth system. El Chino died in 2002, and since then Joaquín has dedicated most of his achievements to him remembered him as his mentor. After the 2005 domestic cup conquest Joaquín married Susana Sabol on 8 July. The trophy was present at the ceremony, as was the entire Betis squad.