‘Monster’ Kim Min-jae (27, Naples) met national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann and smiled broadly.
The Korea Football Association (KFA) posted on SNS on the 19th (hereafter Korean time), ‘Coach Klinsman and coach Paolo Stringara, who visited Italy, watched the European Champions League (UCL) Napoli-AC Milan match held in Naples and communicated with Kim Min-jae. I had time,’ he said. KFA also posted a photo of Klinsmann coach, Kim Min-jae, and Stringara coaches standing side by side with the sea in the background. They all had bright, smiling faces.
Coach Klinsman, who finished the A match in March, boarded a plane to Europe on the 14th from the United States. He was to check the European faction. “Captain” Son Heung-min (Tottenham) started on the 15th. Coach Klinsman visited Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and met Son Heung-min in person. Head coach Andreas Herzog accompanied him. Heung-Min Son, who was encouraged by coach Klinsman, started the scoring shot. He managed to score goals in two consecutive games. On the 16th, he went to Kilmarnock, Scotland, and met Celtic striker Oh Hyun-kyu. The third journey was Kim Min-jae.메이저놀이터
Kim Min-jae was a key point in Klinsmann’s trip to Europe this time. Kim Min-jae complained of mental fatigue after the game against Uruguay on the 28th of last month. At the time, Kim Min-jae said, “It’s hard. Mentally, I’ve collapsed a lot. It’s soccer-wise. I’m thinking of focusing only on my team.” He was misrepresented by rumors of retirement from the national team, and once suffered measles. Afterwards, Kim Min-jae explained through SNS, but the wave continued. To make matters worse, rumors of a feud with Son Heung-min overlapped. Kim Min-jae unfollowed Son Heung-min’s account,
The controversy was over, but Kim Min-jae eventually collapsed. After transferring to Naples, Kim Min-jae, who showed defensive power like a fortress, unfortunately bowed his head by scoring as many as 4 goals that week. It was the worst since entering Italy. Fortunately, he returned to his original form after finding a flow, but the fact that ‘key defender’ Kim Min-jae was shaken psychologically is inevitably negative for Korean football.
Kim Min-jae is one of the most important players from the point of view of coach Klinsman, who is aiming to win the Asian Cup and further advance to the round of 16 in the 2026 World Cup in North and Central America. Kim Min-jae, who has grown into a world-class player, is invaluable especially in matches against Asian teams that have no choice but to be more aggressive. Kim Min-jae, who complained of physical and psychological difficulties, was desperately needed. It was a moment when director Klinsman, who showed strength in communication, needed the true value.
Coach Klinsmann met Kim Min-jae in Naples on the 19th. Initially, he was scheduled to watch the game, but Kim Min-jae received a warning in the first game and could not participate in the second game due to the accumulation of warnings. Coach Klinsman worked with Coach Stringara, not Coach Hairchoke, this time. Coach Stringara was mainly active in Italy. Coach Klinsman and Coach Stringara are known to have watched the game from the stands and had a conversation with Kim Min-jae, who was not allowed to play. It is not known what kind of conversation took place in detail, but the expressions in the photos all looked bright.
Coach Klinsmann goes to his home country Germany for the last time to see the Korean Bundesliga. On the 22nd, Lee Jae-seong is playing Mainz and Bayern Munich, and on the 23rd, Jung Woo-young belongs to Freiburg and Schalke.
Meanwhile, Napoli failed to advance to the semifinals of the UCL in the absence of Kim Min-jae. Napoli drew 1-1 in the UCL quarterfinal second leg against AC Milan at Diego Armando Maradona in Naples, Italy on the 19th. Napoli, who lost 0-1 in the first leg of the away game, knelt down with a total of 1-2 in the first and second leg. Napoli gave up the opening goal to Olivier Giroud in a counterattack situation in the 43rd minute of the first half. After that, Napoli launched an all-out offensive. However, in the 35th minute of the second half, Hvica Kravatshelia missed the penalty kick, and luck did not follow. In the second half of added time, Victor Osimen scored a dramatic equalizer, but time was running out. Napoli, which reached the quarterfinals of UCL for the first time since its founding, also aimed for the first quarterfinals, but had to realize the vacancy of Kim Min-jae.