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Kim Min-jae, ‘iron wall defense + storm run’ → “It’s fantastic” Mourinho praised again

There was a reason the world-renowned Jose Mourinho (60) AS Roma coach wanted it. Kim Min-jae (27, Naples) showed off his perfect defense in front of coach Mourinho, who wanted to recruit him in the past.

Napoli won 2-1 in the 2022-23 season Italian Serie A round 20 home game against Rome held at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in Naples, Italy on the 30th (Korean time). Victor Osimen’s volley gave Napoli the victory, but Stefan El Sharawi conceded a goal in the second half, but Giovanni Simeone’s dramatic goal added three points. 

Napoli (53 points) widened the gap with second place Inter Milan (40 points) and took the lead, taking a step closer to winning the championship. Coincidentally, AC Milan, the opponent, was caught in Sassuolo. 

Kim Min-jae, whom Mourinho coached, also shone in the match against Rome. At the official press conference before the game, coach Mourinho was asked how many Napoli players are as good as Roma striker Paulo Dybala. “There are no players at the same level as Dybala, but there are good players. “Napoli are great, but nobody’s at Dybala’s level yet.” 

Afterwards, manager Mourinho mentioned Kim Min-jae. Recalling his days leading Tottenham in the past, he explained the recruiting process in detail, saying, “I wanted to bring Kim Min-jae back then.” Coach Mourinho talked about the transfer through a video call with Kim Min-jae, who was active in Guoan, Beijing. But Tottenham was uncooperative. Mourinho’s message is that when Beijing called for 10 million euros (13.3 billion won), Tottenham pulled out of the race to sign Kim Min-jae. 

In front of coach Mourinho, who expressed deep regret after many years, Kim Min-jae presented a fantastic performance. Roma’s proud Dybala and Tammy Abraham tied up the attacking line. Kim Min-jae repeatedly intercepted the ball in one-on-one fights and gave the Roma strikers a trial. 

Of course, there were also crises. 토토사이트 Kim Min-jae almost scored an own goal in the 12th minute of the first half. In the situation where goalkeeper Alex Merrett emptied the goal, in the process of handling the ball in the air, the ball flowed into the back of Kim Min-jae’s head toward the goal. The ball narrowly missed the goalpost and overcame the crisis.

Afterwards, Kim Min-jae started ‘wall mode’ as usual. He defended the back of Napoli by kicking off the opponent’s threatening crosses with his head repeatedly. The blocking of the opponent’s pass was also outstanding. The storm run that came out of the counterattack situation in the 18th minute of the second half was the highlight. The moment striker Irving Rossano grabbed the ball and rushed forward, Kim Min-jae showed off an explosive sprint and joined the fight for numbers. 

His great performance was revealed in numbers. Whoscore, a football statistics media, handed Kim Min-jae the highest rating of 7 from the back. According to the media, Kim Min-jae recorded the most kicks (9) in the team. He also left behind the second most passes (74) and the highest pass success rate (93.2%) behind Giovanni Di Lorenzo (78). This means that the build-up was also smooth.

Praise poured in after the match. In response to the point that Dybala’s performance was poor, coach Mourinho, the ‘enemy captain’, said, “I don’t like to say things like this. Napoli have two centre-backs who are very strong and quick in their individual competition. Kim Min-jae is a fantastic player,” he said, raising his thumb. 

Italian media Arena Naples also said, “Kim Min-jae has become an idol in Naples in name and reality. Substitutes made a difference (in the game against Rome), but the most surprising thing was the mentality that Kim Min-jae showed at the end of the game.” 

Napoli, who finished their schedule in January, will face a relatively easy opponent in the future. Napoli will clash with Cremonese (20th) and Sassuolo (15th) in turn, starting with Spezia (17th) on the 5th of next month. 


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