Joaquín on retiring: “My body told me every morning that it was the right time for me.”

In an official presentation on Thursday, Real Betis legend Joaquín spoke about retiring from football at the end of the season.

The 41-year-old announced on Wednesday that he would be hanging up his boots after a fine career in the game.

Joaquín, who is about to turn 42, has recently been able to combine his career as a footballer with a promising career in television and discussed retiring after 23 years and leaving La Liga club Betis.

Why did you make the decision to retire?

“I’m 41 years old, so at some point, I had to retire. I talked about the Champions League, but I didn’t want to condition such an important moment as this to Betis being in the Champions League and me achieving that objective. But I hope that when I hang up my boots Betis will be in the Champions League,” he said in words reported by Mundo Deportivo.

Not retiring for physical reasons

“I feel that I have not retired because of my physique. It’s true that age takes its toll, but I think my head has taken more of a toll on me, but not because I was bored or didn’t feel like a footballer, but because I thought it was the right time. My body told me every morning that it was the right time for me. But I’m still enjoying myself and training well.”

What would you like to do now at Betis?

“I’m going to talk about that with the president and the vice-president, but I’m here to help and feel useful and important. I’d love to be closer to the sporting side of things, but I have to learn. It’s a new stage and I’m going to be there to learn.”

Top 5 players with the most appearances in La Liga history:

Andoni Zubizarreta – 622 apps
Joaquín – 615 apps
Raúl García – 581 apps
Raúl González – 550 apps
Eusebio Sacristán – 543 apps

Kieran Quaile | GSFN

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