Betis star Joaquin determined to celebrate 'beautiful' Copa del Rey showdown with Valencia

By Sports Desk March 03, 2022

Joaquin described the coming Copa del Rey final as "a beautiful thing" after he helped Real Betis seal a showdown with his old club, Valencia.

Manuel Pellegrini's side drew 1-1 with Rayo Vallecano in Thursday's semi-final second leg to progress to their fifth Copa final with a 3-2 aggregate win.

A stunning free-kick from Bebe looked to have sent the match into extra time, but Borja Iglesias bundled in an injury-time goal for Betis after substitute Joaquin had found Sergio Canales with a throughball.

Valencia had secured their place in the final on Wednesday, Goncalo Guedes' fine strike securing a 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao and a 2-1 aggregate victory.

Joaquin, who will turn 41 in July this year, will now hope to win the Copa for the third time in his career, having done so with Betis back in 2005 and Valencia three years later.

When asked about the prospect of facing his former side, Joaquin said: "My God, what a beautiful thing.

"We're going to enjoy ourselves because we deserve it. On Sunday, we have a difficult game to keep dreaming of the Champions League.

"I have already won a Copa with Betis and another with Valencia, and I've played a final with Fiorentina [in the Coppa Italia in 2014]."

There were wild celebrations inside and outside the Benito Villamarin, and Joaquin promised he would also honour the occasion – after he had seen his family.

"I'm not going out today," he said. "My wife said to me 'I'll wait for you', so I'll go home... to change. If we're kept here late then I'll have to go in the Betis tracksuit!

"But I want to see my wife and my girls, who have suffered like all Betis fans, and like I did. What a massive joy."

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