Real Betis skipper Joaquin, opened up about how grateful he feels of being pushed to his limits by manager Quique Setien at such an advanced age.
You probably have already heard of Joaquin, the Real Betis product who became one of Valencia’s most important players between 2006 and 2011 and is now back at his home club’s skipper under manager Quique Setien.
Since last season when the boss took control of the squad, Joaquin was given more responsibility than before at the club and he has responded very well by leading his teammates to the Europa League and to actually fight for a better La Liga position this season.
But this player is already 37 years old, you might as yourself how the hell does he stay in shape in order to keep playing most of the matches for Betis.
Well, according to the player himself, it’s all Quique Setien’s fault for motivating him enough to keep going despite his veteran status.
The player just offered an interview to Panenka magazine which features him on the cover, as part of their 78th edition.
Joaquín: “Independientemente de lo que yo pueda significar para el Betis, entreno como un canterano, sabiendo el rol que tengo en el vestuario, pero sintiéndome uno más” https://t.co/Sln7puAfWF
— Panenka (@RevistaPanenka) October 10, 2018
“I feel very privileged that my physique can hold for this long so I can keep playing at this level and keep enjoying what I do best,” said Joaquin during the interview.
“The team’s playing philosophy from last year until now, helps me keep the motivation intact in order to keep performing. I’m very well right now, I feel important to the squad.”
“The reason I have been able to prolong my career is that we play like this, I can keep this up for at least two more years. I know that if we kept playing the way we did before the new manager came, I would probably have retired by now. I told the manager and the people around me.”
“The playing philosophy with which this new manager came has helped me a lot because I enjoy the game, I am in constant contact with the ball, I run a lot less, the team keeps winning and I am a lot more involved which makes me feel very comfortable.”
“The reality is that this playing philosophy suits perfectly to any footballer who likes keeping the ball and it’s clear that my career has prolonged in many different aspects,” he added.
“At this point in my career, resting is very important for me. Playing every three or four days, getting some time to relax is even more crucial,” he continued.
“Getting the proper recovery time is key for me, as it is also having the ideal diet. I feel a lot more comfortable in this new role, it’s not just me but also another offensive players like Andres Guardado, Sergio Canales, Inui, Boudebouz…”
“We can play closer together and we always try to connect during matches. Playing the ball in the middle makes you very involved in the game and it makes you feel more important.”
“This benefits any player who is talented, who keeps the ball for longer periods of time, and have the same style of play.”
“But this doesn’t make me feel like a leader in the dressing room because the lads don’t treat me as such, these kids lose all respect towards you from day one,” he joked.
“I’m enjoying every moment of this stage in my career, I try to spread my passion for the rest of the players. I try to make them understand that they need to enjoy this moment because it is wonderful and you have to feel privileged to be a Real Betis player.”
🔊 Joaquin (Real Betis) in the documentary Six Dreams: "Messi makes three runs and scores four goals." pic.twitter.com/bghiMXrYAO
— BarcaMedia (@BarcaTimesTape) October 1, 2018
At what age do you think Joaquin will retire from Real Betis? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.