I played in the 2002 World Cup, scored in this season’s Europa League and am now hosting my own TV talk show | The Sun
26th December 2022

WHEN a 21-year-old winger played for Spain at the 2002 World Cup, not many fans would have imagined he would still be scoring in Europe TWO DECADES later.

Even fewer would have believed the now 41-year-old hosts his own TV show alongside his football career.

The man in question is La Liga legend Joaquin, who made his professional debut way back in the 1999-2000 season.

Two years later he was included in the Spain squad for the World Cup in South Korea.

Joaquin played in Spain's final group game of the tournament, a 3-2 win over South Africa, and missed a crucial penalty in the quarter-final shootout defeat to hosts South Korea.

Fast forward 20 years – and 820 club appearances later – and Joaquin is still delivering on the football pitch.

The winger scored a stunning goal in Betis' 3-2 Europa League win over Ludogorets in September.

And in doing so the 52-cap Spain international became the oldest scorer in the history of the competition.

Joaquin has spent the majority of his career with Betis, but he also played over 200 times for Valencia and had spells with Malaga and Fiorentina.

He extended his contract with Betis for a further year last summer summer, and was also snapped up by Spanish TV channel Antena 3.

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The first episode of his brand new series 'Joaquin, the rookie' airs this Wednesday.

The programme is a TV talk show, and will see Joaquin joined by various celebrity guests.

Speaking on his new venture on to the screen, Joaquin said: "I like television very much. I have a great time and I have fun. 

"I jumped head first at this proposal because it is a very nice opportunity."

His current Betis contract expires at the end of the season, and Joaquin has vowed to continue playing on next year if Manuel Pellegrini's side qualify for the Champions League.

He told Diario AS: "In principle, the intention is for it to be my last year. But, if we qualify for the Champions League? They won’t be able to get rid of me!"

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