Real Betis captain and legendary winger Joaquin Sanchez is now the grandfather of La Liga following the retirement of Athletic Club Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz.
The veteran winger will celebrate his 39th birthday in July and has made a grand total of 764 club appearances across his career, alongside winning 51 caps for the Spanish national team.
In December, Betis confirmed that Joaquin had penned a new contract at the club until the summer of 2021 – taking him up to a month shy of his 40th birthday.
Joaquin scored his first ever career hat-trick in this season’s 3-2 win over Athletic Club Bilbao –becoming the oldest player to ever score a treble in Spain’s top-flight, having previously grabbed a hat-trick of assists against Levante this campaign.
As outlined by Diario AS, the veteran has netted 10 goals this season and is four months older than Espanyol goalkeeper Diego Lopez, with Getafe striker Jorge Molina aged 37 and the next group of players aged 35 – Charles (Eibar), Santi Cazorla (Villarreal), Salva Sevilla (Mallorca) and Ivan Cuéllar (Leganés).
He has made 149 La Liga appearances since returning to his boyhood club Betis from Fiorentina in the summer of 2015 and is third on the all-time appearances record for the competition – 81 shy of Andoni Zubizarreta in the number one spot.
“The greatest talent I ever coached was Ronaldo but at the same time he was the player who created the most problems for me in the dressing room. He used to throw parties and do everything. Once Van Nistelrooy said to me: ‘Coach, the dressing room smells like alcohol’.” Find out who which manager said this right here.