Kim Min-jae (26-Napoli) is happy to have accomplished all his goals this season.
Kim returned home via Incheon International Airport at around 1:20 p.m. on June 6. As he entered the arrivals hall, he was clutching his Serie A winner’s medal and the Serie A best defense trophy. About 100 fans waiting for him at Incheon Airport chanted “Kim Kim Kim!” when he appeared.
“KIM” is a chant used by local fans in Italy to cheer for Kim. “Kim Kim Kim Kim!” can be heard at Napoli’s home stadium when Kim takes the ball away from an opposing attacker or makes a successful tackle. When Kim heard these chants at Incheon Airport, he smiled brightly.
It took about a minute for Kim to walk through the immigration gate to his vehicle. There was no interview, but he left with a few brief words. “It’s been a crazy season, but I feel like I’ve accomplished everything I set out to do,” he said, reflecting on the end of the 2022-23 season.
Kim Min-jae joined Napoli from Turkkiye Fenerbahçe last summer. At the time of his arrival, there were not many expectations in Italy. But after just two months, he was considered one of the best defenders in Europe, winning the Serie A Player of the Month award.
It all came together towards the end of the season. With five games left in the season, Napoli clinched the Serie A title. It was the first Serie A title in Napoli’s 33-year history and the third in his career. Kim was also named Serie A’s best defender and was named to the season’s best eleven.
Kim will enroll in basic military training on May 15. After winning a gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang, Kim was granted a special exemption from military service, meaning he only needs to complete a short military training program and volunteer work to complete his military obligations.
When he was picked up at Incheon Airport, soccer fans asked him, “Where are you going to the training center?” and wanted to know where he was going to enroll in military training. He replied with a smile.
Due to his military training schedule, Kim will miss two friendly A matches in June. Jürgen Klinsmann, the head coach of the Korean national soccer team, announced the roster on June 5, saying, “Kim Min-jae will not be able to play in the June games due to military training. It will be an opportunity for other players.” 토토사이트
He also said, “Kim Min-jae winning the Serie A title is huge. It will be an unforgettable memory for a lifetime. It will be a great thing for Korean soccer,” he said, congratulating him on the win.