What a difference a year makes, 365 little days, so many jubilant olés, where there used to be for goodness sakes.
The team, and I think the club as a whole, has made great strides this season. The headline result is a 6th place finish and a spot in the Europa League next year. But it feels like we’ve achieved much more than this.
The Setién revolution
Quique Setién has revolutionised the way we play football, the way the players interact and the confidence each has, which has in turn completely altered the atmosphere at the club. He has made us entertaining again. Entertaining but also effective.
There are other people to thank for this change around, no less than Joaquin. Joaquin. Will there be another like him? We’d be honoured if there was.
36 years old and still skipping around the field like he was weaving in and out of kids on the plaza or evading imaginary bulls at the local bullring in El Puerto de Santa Maria. His energy, enthusiasm and outlook on life is truly infectious. He’s invested €1m into Betis because “it’s my life”. One day he will be president of the club, there’s no doubt.
The fantastic social media strategy of Real Betis has allowed an insight into Joaquin’s antics and what goes on behind the scenes. It shows the fun and personality that runs through the veins of the club and, of course, it features Joaquin quite heavily. The official social accounts of Betis are some of the most popular football accounts in European football, especially the youtube videos where viewing numbers are almost on par with Manchester United.
Setién and Joaquin – a match made in heaven
Setién and Joaquin are art appreciators, they are romantics and inspirers and there coming together has been a match made in heaven for Real Betis.
Setién is an avid chess player, a principled technician, he holds true visions and his ideas are sacred. This sometimes makes the way we play high risk but it is his philosophy.
I love this video of Setién’s pre-match comments before the 1-0 away win against Real Madrid in September. It gives an insight into the Betis changing room and his ethos:
“Lots of confidence and personality. Don’t stress ourselves. With the ball remain calm, we defend, we’re about playing, choose well. Stay calm above all with the ball, have faith in what you do.”
Notice Setién’s lieutenant, stood by his side?
Joaquin then chips in:
“Lots of personality. We defend with the ball, then we are going to enjoy ourselves coño.” (You might have to look that last word up on your own.)
Video review of the season
As the inspiration continues we move on to a video that summarises the season perfectly. Swedish Betis fanatic Linus Lovgren’s eagerly awaited season review. As Setién and Joaquin would say, “enjoy it!”
I can’t mention inspiration without mentioning another legend, one of the greatest in green and white.
Don Rubén Castro.
Setién gave him the captain’s armband for the last game of the season in what will be his last game for Real Betis. No one has ever scored more goals in the green and white of Betis than Rubén Castro. He might not have played during an iconic phase for the club but he has shown class and he has given beticos plenty of inspirational, joy-filled moments. The fans respect that and he will forever remain a legend.