Former Ballon d’Or defender Fabio Cannavaro praised Kim Min-jae.
Ronaldinho, Cannavaro, and Marko Materazzi are among the legends who have made their mark on world soccer history. Julio Cesar was also scheduled to attend, but was unable to participate due to personal reasons. The event was organized by Lasing City Group, and the three legends were invited to hold a press conference, followed by a youth soccer clinic, YouTube shoot, and Korean cultural experience. Lasing City Group will host a Legends Match in October. The press conference was held at Pairment Ambassador Seoul in Yeouido on October 10.
Cannavaro is a Ballon d’Or-winning defender. Despite his diminutive stature, he was praised for his incredible judgment and overwhelming defense. He played for Napoli, Parma, Inter Milan, Juventus, and Real Madrid, and left a huge mark on the Italian national team. After retiring from playing, he went on to manage Al Ahli, Tianjin Quanjian, and Guangzhou FC (formerly Guangzhou Hengda). Most of his stints have been in China, so he is no stranger to the Asian stage.
Cannavaro mentioned Kim Min-jae early in the press conference. Even when he wasn’t asked about him, he mentioned him first. Kim had a breakout season for Napoli last season. He came to Napoli to replace Kalidou Koulibaly and was one of the best defenders in the team. Thanks to his performance, Napoli jumped out to an early season lead and won the Scudetto for the first time in 33 years since the 1989-90 season. They also reached the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) for the first time. Kim Min-jae played a big role.
According to soccer statistics outlet Couch Score, Kim was first among Serie A center backs in accurate passes (2,547), recovered passes in his own half (1,661), recovered passes in the opposite half (888), and touches (3,173). He was second in final third entries (101). Minjae Kim virtually dominated every award a defender can win. During the season, he won the Serie A Secretariat Player of the Month award in September and the Italian Footballers’ Association Player of the Month award in October. At the end of the season, he was named Serie A Team of the Year and Serie A Best Defender.
He currently plays for Bayern Munich. “We played against Korea at the World Cup,” said Cannavaro, a former Napoli player. You must have memories of Korea. When asked how he has followed Korean soccer over the years, he replied, “If you think about the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup, Korea has improved a lot since then. It’s because of the youth academy system, the passion and culture of Korean soccer fans. That’s why many players went to Europe.” 꽁머니 “It was the foundation of Kim Min-jae’s performance. It’s not easy to play against Korean teams in Asia. He showed good skills,” referring to Kim Min-jae.
He continued, “When I was a coach in China, I had a lot of opportunities to watch him, and he was great then, but he made a lot of mistakes. In the last two years, he has grown tremendously by playing in Europe. At Napoli, he gained confidence and played really well.