Joaquin turns 40 this July 21st, three weeks after his contract with Real Betis is set to expire. The club’s captain is seemingly indestructible, however, with Marca noting that the wind seems to be blowing in the direction of the Andalusian extending his relationship with the Seville club for another season. But first, thoughts turn to this evening’s game with Real Madrid.
Betis last won a game on March 19th, when they beat Levante. Since then they’ve drawn four on the bounce, most recently a scoreless affair against Athletic Bilbao that saw Nabil Fekir sent off early doors. “It’s always a big effort playing against a team like Athletic, especially when you’re a man down from the tenth minute,” Joaquin said.
“But the team is strong, confident and full of faith. It’s true that we haven’t won for four games, but we haven’t lost either. Although it’s clear that when you play against Real Madrid you have to do things very well to get something.”
Betis are sixth, level on points with seventh-placed Villarreal and one off fifth-placed Real Sociedad. They’ll be facing a Madrid team on a real run, having won four out of their last five. Los Blancos are three points behind league leaders Atletico Madrid, so will draw level with a win.
Regarding his ambitions for the season, Joaquin was clear that he and his teammates were going game by game. “We’re going to fight until the end and always look up,” he said. “Being in the European positions for us is important, it’s a fundamental prize and in the year we’re in, even more so. As we said at the beginning of the season, and although it sounds cliche, we want to go game by game.”
On the subject of his future, Joaquin left the door open for another season representing Los Verdiblancos. “Well, we’re going to finish the remainder of the season, to try to finish as high as possible, to get into Europe, which is where we are right now,” he said when asked. “Then we’ll see about my future.”