Kim Min-jae was born and raised in Tongyeong, a small city on the south coast of Korea, into a family rich in sports traditions. His father and mother were both athletes, while his brother was also a goalkeeper for the school football team Myongji University.
But the person who has the biggest influence on Kim Min-jae is his uncle, a former coach, who guided him to the ball since he was 5 years old. His uncle is 14 years older than him, creating favorable conditions for Kim. Min-jae in turn attended Yeoncho Middle School and then Suwon Technical High School, which produced many famous Korean stars, Park Ji-sung and Kim Sun-min.
When he was in college, Kim Min-jae did not have the muscular physique as he is now. Although he was 1m88 tall, but his weight was only 78 kg at that time, his body was somewhat “thin” which made him often have difficulties when he had to contend with tall strikers.
With great determination, Kim Min-jae plunged into crazy training in the evenings after hours, and then reached the ideal weight of 88 kg, accompanied by massive, toned muscles. The second-year student thanks to his solid body, overwhelmed all opponents in the air combat phase and the nickname “Monster” was also formed from here.
Kim Min-jae has many fond memories of his poor background. Unlike his teammates when they gathered at U17 Korea, they were present from the night before or on the same day if there was a good car to pick them up, Kim came to the training center in Paju, on the other side of the beach by… a car. carrying fish, when his father enlisted to deliver the goods for the next day.
It was no ordinary small car, but a very large truck, weighing about 20 tons with a large fish tank inside. Due to the large load, the car could not go fast, so they often had to leave at midnight in a journey lasting up to 7 hours, in order to arrive in time to gather and recruit on time the next morning.
Kim must never forget the days when she had to reuse “handmade” shoes from her upperclassmen in college, because the family’s financial condition did not allow them to buy new. That is also the main reason he decided to give up his academic career in his 2nd year of university, to put his full attention on the ball. A right choice and changed the rest of his life.
The whole Europe chases
But those hardships and sacrifices have paid off. The 26-year-old centre-back is currently playing sublime in the Napoli shirt, filling the void left by star Kalidou Koulibaly when he joined Chelsea.
The latest outstanding performance in the 2-0 victory over Atalanta, is making Kim Min-jae a fierce target of the whole of Europe, especially the interest of giants from the Premier League, MU. , Liverpool and Tottenham. It was the perfect match and arguably the best of Kim’s career. Every situation of intervention or the man who broke the ball received cheers from the stands named Diego Maradona, Kim’s idol.
Kim Min-jae ran tirelessly and fought like an ancient Roman boxer, not shy of any opponent.
“Kim can do at least 20 miracles in every game,” Spalletti said in a post-match press conference.
“For me, Kim is the best defender in the world. It only took him 5 seconds to run from home to the opponent’s penalty area.”
Napoli is very difficult to keep Kim Min-jae in the face of European flirting, and they will surely collect a great bargain when it only costs 19 million euros to bring him back from Fenerbahce in the summer of 2022.
However, in the immediate future, Napoli need to quickly remove the termination clause that is bringing them a disadvantage: clubs outside Italy can buy it outright for a meager price of only 45 million euros.
If he is not Asian or has experience in playing in larger playgrounds, Kim Min-jae’s value could even reach 100 million euros. It is not known where Kim will play next season, but what is certain is that the future ahead is extremely bright and promising for the 26-year-old.
Kim Min-jae is an important pillar in the defense system that makes the most solid defense in Serie A at the moment with only 16 times conceding in 26 matches. And yet, with his perfect aerial combat ability, Kim Min-jae also actively participated in the offensive front with 2 goals and 1 assist for Napoli in the 2022/23 season.