La Liga legend Joaquin admits he nearly joined Real Madrid in 2006

La Liga legend Joaquin admits he nearly joined Real Madrid in 2006

Real Betis winger Joaquin has admitted that he nearly joined Real Madrid instead of Valencia in 2006. 

Joaquin moved to Valencia from Real Betis in August 2006 in a deal worth a reported £15.7m and went on to win the 2008 Copa del Rey title with Los Che.

However, Joaquin, who has also played for Malaga and Fiorentina before returning to Betis, has revealed that Real Madrid were trying to secure his services at the same time as Valencia, and that he would have moved to the Bernabeu if given the chance.

“I wanted to sign for Real Madrid and it was very close,” Joaquin told Onda Cero (via Football Espana).

“I was ready to sign my contract and undergo medical tests, they wanted me and I wanted them but it was not to be.

“The Betis president [Manuel Ruiz de] Lopera knew this is what I wanted because I made it clear to him, this would be the prime opportunity for me and my career.

“But he wanted a massive sum of money and when we spoke to Florentino [Perez, Real Madrid president] he said the demands were too high and it could not happen.”

The most loved man in La Liga?

During his career, Joaquin has developed a reputation as a ‘funny man’ and is arguably the most loved man in La Liga.

When being unveiled as a new signing at Malaga in 2011, Joaquin could have continued doing the customary trick of playing keepy-ups but, in typical Joaquin style, he instead decided to pick up the microphone and tell the thousands of Malaga fans a joke, as reported by The Guardian.

The Guardian further reported that Spanish referee, Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez, remembers one match during which Joaquin, unimpressed with his decisions, walked up to him and asked: “I heard you got married?

“Erm, yes,” Iturralde replied, to which Joaquin smirked: “You’re making a mistake.”

And, in an interview, when asked about his favourite hobbies, Joaquin said that he enjoyed tennis; the camera then turned around and revealed Julio Baptista in hysterics.

“Tennis,” he said. “He’s never played tennis in his life,” Baptista blurted out.

“I don’t even know to pick up a racket, Julio,” Joaquin replied, rolling about with laughter.