Real Betis icon Joaquin posed naked and wants to be a bullfighter

Man Utd have team huddle before training ahead of Real Betis clash

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Real Betis veteran Joaquin has many stories to tell from his varied and interesting football career. His playing days started with Betis and they look set to finish at the same side, although the 41-year-old claims that he is not thinking about retirement ahead of Thursday’s trip to face Manchester United. 

The Red Devils are into the Europa League last 16 by virtue of a tough two-legged victory over Barcelona. Now, on paper, they face a less intimidating La Liga outfit as they bid to reach the quarter finals and add to Erik ten Hag’s silverware cabinet. 

Now well into his forties, Joaquin is no longer the integral player that he once was for Betis. Most of his league appearances have come from the bench this term, although he has been a regular fixture in the Europa League.

Ahead of a journey to Old Trafford which could see him given another run-out, Express Sport takes you through three stories that epitomise the Betis maverick…

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Naked photoshoot

Back in 2007/08, when Joaquin was already a vastly experienced star in Spanish football, he was snapped posing naked with the Copa del Rey trophy after winning the final with Valencia. 

Despite occurring so long ago, the photo quickly did the rounds online but the winger insists that he is actually wearing clothes. “That photo is a montague,” he told Marca. “I didn’t go nude, and I remember that in that photo I was wearing underpants [laughing].”

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TV career

Despite an ongoing football career, Joaquin has become a growing presence on TV in Spain. His debut show, ‘El Novato’, which translates to ‘The Rookie’, follows him trying to learn the profession of a different celebrity each week, which has gone down a storm in his homeland. 

“I never thought I could have my own show, to be on the other side of the table and conduct interviews with important people in journalism, television, cooking, artists of all kinds,” he told ESPN.

The former Spain international also features in a second show, called ‘La Penultima y me voy’, which follows his home life with wife Susana and his two daughters, suggesting that Joaquin may have his post-retirement plans all figured out when the time comes. 

Bullfighting school

If TV doesn’t take his fancy, Joaquin could revert to an old aspiration and become a bullfighter. The former Malaga and Fiorentina winger has been open and honest about his love for the sport, which he has followed since he was a child. 

“It is quite difficult, but yes, I want to be a bullfighter as soon as I leave football,” he told AS. “I would like to enter this world, always respecting a very delicate profession and giving my beneficial contribution to all the people of that world.

“I did everything I could to be one. I enrolled in the bullfighting school in El Puerto and the instant my mother saw that it was getting serious with my father she pushed me to choose football because she suffered a lot.”

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