Fiorentina winger Joaquin says he is longing for a return to first club Real Betis as he enters the twilight of his career.
The 33-year-old, who spent six years with Los Beticos before subsequent transfers to Valencia and Malaga, is back in Andalusia for the Europa League semi-final first leg clash with Sevilla on Thursday.
“I’m happy Betis fans haven’t forgotten me and I’m proud of that. It’s normal they remember me because of my past,” Joaquin told Onda Cero’s ‘Al Primer Toque’ programme.
“I’ve been away a long time and I’ve always said that one day I’d be back – the sooner the better because I’m longing to return home and play there.
“Destiny has played a part in letting me come back here to face our eternal rivals Sevilla. It’s going to be difficult but we’re all very excited about it.
“I have a year left on my Fiorentina contract and am doing well there. Contracts are made to be honoured and respected, while apart from that I’ve no complaints at how I’ve been treated by the club and the city.
“Even so, Betis is always on my mind and going back there would be magical. I want to finish this season off and after that we’ll see.”
Joaquin is aware the Serie A outfit face a difficult task at the Sanchez Pizjuan but is convinced his teammates are capable of standing up to what he describes as a very good Sevilla side.
“Sevilla have consistently shown over the years that they are a very good team. They are a lot stronger at home and are very attack-minded, so I expect them to go all out to try and control the game.
“We haven’t been doing too well in the League lately but we won the other day and in the Europa League we’ve shown great personality and played to a high standard with some good results.
“I’m confident we’ll put on a good performance and stand up to Sevilla.”