It is always a nice news story when a veteran gets to bathe in praise after a long period of being outshined by younger players. Joaquin’s goal in the match against Bulgarian Ludogoretz in UEFA Europa League was a beautifully done shot from outside of the penalty area, but its significance was different — it was a goal scored by the oldest player at the time of playing in the league’s history.
The rich career of Joaquin
The 41-year winger has been playing with Real Betis for more than a decade in total. He spent the best of his years in Valencia, Fiorentina, and Malaga, but returned to his home in 2015 to continue playing for his beloved squad where he started his professional career. He stepped on the field wearing the uniform of Betis 501 times and scored 58 goals.
When he walked on the grass of Benito Villamarin Stadium on September 15, he was 41 years and 56 days old making him the oldest player to score in the competition’s history. The official Twitter message from the UEFA account celebrated his achievement.
Despite being the oldest player on the Betis’ roster, Joaquin continues to start in many games and often fortified the squad in the international arena bringing his experience and authority to the table. Players respect this amazing winger who has been reliable and well-performing throughout his career.
Now, with Betis performing very well at the beginning of the domestic season and several international victories, the club looks great. The presence of a veteran of such a caliber is certainly a big moral boost for the whole team full of younger players.
The achievement is more impressive
While the official Twitter account states that it is the record for the Europa League, it is also the same achievement as UEFA Cup. He is also a player with the most appearances among outfielders ahead of the previous record holder Raul. Joaquin appeared on the grass of Spanish stadiums 551 times. Betis does not have any plans to sack the player anytime soon, so he has a chance to achieve even more!
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