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‘I’ve never seen more aggressive defender than Kim Min-jae’

‘I’ve never seen more aggressive defender than Kim Min-jae’

Posted March. 21, 2023 07:47,   

Updated March. 21, 2023 07:47


“We did well but who the other team was mattered. The opponent had Kim Min-jae, the best defender in the world,” said Ivan Juric, the manager of Torino, after a home game of the Italian Serie A 2022-2023 season against S.S.C. Napoli on Monday. Napoli beat Torino 4-0.

Kim, who started the game as a central defender on the left side, played for the entire match. He ran 11.064 kilometers in total on Monday, which was the third-longest distance among his team members. His average sprinting speed was 33.37 kilometers per hour, the fastest in both teams. He ran a lot and ran fast. Torino’s striker Antonio Sanabria who scored seven goals in 21 league matches only had one shot on target. “Sanabria did well but he struggled against Kim," said Juric. Sanabria’s shot on target was the only one made by Torino on Monday.

Napoli’s manager Luciano Spalletti praised Kim after the game. “There are players who catch your attention during games. Kim plays in a way that I’ve never seen with other players,” he said. “He has an aggressive style, which is a rare quality.”

Napoli, whose winning streak stopped after eight with a loss against S.S. Lazio on March 4, added a win on Monday and took the top spot in the league with a total of 23 wins, two ties, and two losses (71 winning points). Lazio, which is in second place, is 19 points behind Napoli. Italian media Football Italia reported that if Napoli maintains the current gap with the team in the second place, it will be able to confirm‎ its leagues on April 30. The team is aiming for its third league win after a 33-year gap since 1987 and 1990, when Argentinian football legend Diego Maradona (1960-2020) played for the team.

Dong-Wook Kim creating@donga.com