Real Betis captain Joaquin became the oldest player to score a hat-trick in La Liga when he netted three times against Athletic Bilbao at the weekend.
The Betis legend bagged his first-ever career hat-trick at the age of 38 years and 140 days to break the Spanish top-flight record set by Alfredo di Stefano, which had stood for 55 years.
Joaquin the record-breaker: Five things to know…
- Joaquin scored his first-ever career hat-trick against Athletic Bilbao at the weekend.
- In doing so, he became the oldest player in La Liga history to net three times in one game.
- He also became the oldest hat-trick scorer in Europe’s top five leagues.
- The new record, set by the winger, stands at 38 years and 140 days.
- He netted the hat-trick in an 18-minute first-half blitz.
Betis were looking to make ground on visitors Athletic Bilbao, knowing that a win would move them within four points of their opponents.
They couldn’t have asked for a better start when Joaquin fired the hosts in front inside two minutes. He curled in a second just nine minutes later and completed an astonishing hat-trick when he grabbed a third in the 20th minute to become the oldest player in La Liga history to do so.
The previous record in Spain’s top-flight had lasted 55 years and was held by Alfredo di Stefano.
Joaquin is now the oldest player in Europe’s top-five leagues to net three times in a single game, beating the likes of Teddy Sheringham and Tony Cascarino who hold the record in the Premier League and Ligue 1 respectively.
Oldest hat-trick scorers in Europe’s top-five leagues (via Opta)
It was Joaquin’s 533rd top-flight game and, unbelievably, his first-ever three-goal haul. Donato remains La Liga’s oldest goal scorer but if Joaquin can find the net in a couple of years he will be able to break that record too.
Joaquin’s three goals proved decisive as Bilbao made the last 15 minutes a nervous affair, pulling to within one goal of the hosts but Betis held out to move up to 11th.
Athletic Bilbao remain in sixth, eight points behind league leaders Barcelona.