Fun, ‘finta’ and why it is impossible not to love Joaquín at Real Betis | Sid Lowe

Ask the Spanish about Joaquín and they’ll remember the jokes, the dances, the stories. But there’s more to him than that

You must be Joaquín, they said, and he was: unique, no one quite like him, a cheeky scamp with a glint in his eye, a grin on his face, an endless supply of gags, the uncontainable urge to tell them and, armed with a gaditano accent, the delivery to do them justice. Ask anyone in Spain for their favourite Joaquín moments and their face will light up much like his and they won’t want for one. Or two, or three, or four.

Maybe they’ll say the day he was presented at Málaga and decided that keepy-ups were fine but stand-up was better, taking the mic and, in front of thousands of fans, telling a joke instead; the time, asked what the best thing about rooming with Álvaro Cejudo was, he replied that waking up to a cup of coffee and a good morning kiss; or the night he hypnotised a hen, live on TV.

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