Joaquin has revealed how he rejected a move to Chelsea because of he did not want to adapt to English culture.
The Spanish midfielder instead carved out an impressive career in La Liga, becoming a club legend at Real Betis while also enjoying a five-year spell at Valencia.
Joaquin was scouted by Jose Mourinho during the Portuguese manager’s first spell at Stamford Bridge, with the former Blues boss travelling to Spain in order to get a closer look at the winger.
Mourinho was reportedly ready to snap up the mercurial talent before Joaquin himself pulled the plug on a move, deciding a switch to England was not something he would enjoy.
The 38-year-old, who is still playing for Betis and has made over 400 appearances for the club, has recounted how he snubbed the Blues boss – with the meeting believed to have taken place ahead of the January transfer window during the 2004/05 season.
Speaking about his reasons for rejecting Chelsea, Joaquin told AS: “First, because I didn’t want to leave Betis.
“A week before we had played at the Bernabeu against England. I had a great match and Jose was there, he was interested.
“A few days later I recorded an advertisement in Madrid and when I returned on the AVE [high-speed rail], my father tells me that Mourinho is in Seville, waiting for me at the Alfonso XIII hotel.
“And I’m on the train thinking about England, the weather, the language… I made a cocoa and when I arrived, I told to my father: ‘Dad, I’m not going’. Anyway, he’s going to convince me, I thought.
“And I did not go. The next day Mourinho returned and [Manuel Ruiz de] Lopera [former Real Betis chairman] told me that I had to sell myself for the future of the club. I answered no.”
Joaquin won the Copa del Rey with Betis that season but did eventually leave for Valencia in 2006 after his relationship with Lopera had deteriorated even further.
The winger was sold for €25million (£22.3m) and enjoyed five successful years at the Mestalla, winning the Copa del Rey again in 2007/08.
However, the Spaniard may look back on his decision to snub Chelsea with some regret after Mourinho’s side went on to win back-to-back Premier League titles.
Joaquin moved to Malaga in 2011 before a brief spell in Italy with Fiorentina in 2013.
Two years later he was back at Betis and the player has since acquired a two per cent share in the club, while also earning a contract extension until 2021.
Joaquin racked up 51 international appearances for Spain and holds the impressive record of being the oldest ever hat-trick scorer in La Liga.
The veteran bagged a treble in a stunning 3-2 win over Athletic Bilbao in December, aged 38 years and 140 days.
Betis are currently 12th in La Liga, eight points clear of the relegation zone ahead of a potential return to action in June following the coronavirus lockdown.