It seemed for all the world that Joaquin Sanchez would be leaving the game at the end of last season, in his fourth decade and holding the Copa del Rey. Yet to everyone’s surprise, Joaquin opted to continue at Real Betis next season, signing a one-year extension.
The veteran is much more than just a leader and an entertaining character though. Even if his role was reduced last season, Joaquin still showed an inventiveness and short burst of pace which helped unlock defences when the going got tough for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.
Turning 41 on the 21st of July, Joaquin is set to join an exclusive club. Only two other players can boast that age in the top five leagues in Europe, namely Nicolas Penneteau of Reims and Gianluca Pegolo of Sassuolo. That both are goalkeepers shows the extent of Joaquin’s professionalism.
The only other outfield players over the age of 38 are Zlatan Ibrahimovic (40) and Fabio Quagliarella (39), as pointed out by Sport.