PARISW: Real Betis captain Joaquin announced on Wednesday that he will retire at the end of the season after 23 years as a professional. The 41-year-old winger started his career as a youth player for Betis, making his professional debut in 2000. Following his departure from Betis in 2006, he spent time with Valencia, Malaga, and Fiorentina before returning to the club in 2015. Joaquin led Betis to a Copa del Rey triumph last season, ending the club’s 17-year trophy drought. Their previous piece of silverware was Joaquin’s first, the 2005 Copa del Rey. Joaquin won the Spanish Cup three times, also lifting the trophy with Valencia in 2008. In an emotional post on social media, Joaquin said that the time had come and that he was in his final season as a player for Betis. “But this is not a farewell, it is just ‘see you soon’ because I will continue by your side, defending my life, because Real Betis has been my life,” he said. With nine games remaining in the season, he is just seven appearances away from equalling Andoni Zubizarreta’s record for the most in LaLiga (622).