Kim Min-jae blames Munich…World Cup qualifiers like a ‘war’, leave KIM out?

November 16, 2023 | by

Bayern Munich has sent Kim Min-jae to South Korea with a heavy workload. As South Korea looks to qualify for its 11th consecutive World Cup, Kim Min-jae should be starting and playing full-time, even if he’s on a hot streak.

Jürgen Klinsmann’s men’s national team will face Singapore at 8 p.m. Saturday at Seoul World Cup Stadium in the first match of Group C of the 2026 North American (Canada-Mexico-United States) World Cup second qualifying round for Asia.

South Korea is drawn in Group C alongside China, Singapore and Thailand. South Korea will be looking to qualify for their 11th consecutive World Cup.

Kim Min-jae has been called up to the squad for the A-match after a controversy in South Korea and Germany. The issue is the ‘Kim Min-jae bullying controversy’.

In response to the recent controversy, Coach Klinsmann said, “Kim is always ready. It’s better for him to play five games in a row than just train. He won’t want to rest, he’s eager to play,” Klinsmann said, dismissing the ‘Kim Min-jae rest theory’ and predicting a 100% start against Singapore.

Klinsmann added: “The hardest thing for players is traveling for 12-13 hours. After the long journey, Kim did recovery training at the hotel and came to the training field on the second day. He was happy,” he said of his current physical condition. From the second day of training, Kim was in good spirits and sweated alongside his teammates. He was also in good shape. When asked about the German media’s reports of his sluggishness or mistreatment, the former German superstar shrugged it off, saying, “The newspapers had nothing to write about.”

Munich hosted Heidenheim in the 11th round of the 2023/24 Bundesliga before going into the November A-match break. The Bavarians won 4-2 thanks to a brace from Harry Kane and goals from Raphael Guerreiro and Eric Maxim Choupo Moting, but there was some criticism of the defense, including Kim Min-jae.

Kim started the game in a center-back combination with Dayo Upamecano. With Matthias Düricht currently sidelined with a partially torn right knee ligament that will keep him out of action for about four weeks, Kim and Upamecano are the only two first-team center backs left.

This marks the 14th consecutive game in the starting lineup for Kim, who had recently played 13 consecutive games in the starting lineup for Munich. Having started every game since the start of the Bundesliga season, Kim hasn’t left the field in a match since being substituted in the 35th minute against Augsburg in the second round of the league in August.

Outside of goalkeeper, center backs are known to be less physically demanding, but Kim is different. Munich is a team that attacks high up the pitch, and Kim is constantly running up and down the pitch, which is extremely taxing on his body. When space opens up, he has to run with all his might to cut out the ball. In this way, there are many who are concerned about his overload as he continues to play full-time in the starting lineup with no breaks between UEFA Champions League matches during the week and Bundesliga matches on the weekends.

Munich head coach Thomas Tuchel has also recently voiced his concerns about Kim’s “hyper-intensity”.

“We have to wait and see if Leon Goretzka, Dayo Upamecano, and Hafa Guerreiro are fit to play,” he said before the game, referring to his current squad situation. “There are some players like Alfonso Davies and Kim Min-jae who have played a lot of games. We are in constant dialog with them.” 캡틴토토 주소

Recently, Kim Min-jae’s form has dipped following three days of full-time action. Against Heidenheim, he was at the center of a series of second-half errors that saw a 2-0 lead slip to 2-2. His rating was also the lowest of any Munich player.

Klinsmann’s decision to play only three center backs and use Kim Min-jae against underdog Singapore was controversial.

However, it’s only in Munich that he’s played so many games in a row. It’s also up to Munich to accommodate Kim’s schedule. South Korea are now on their way to qualifying for the World Cup in three years’ time. Naturally, they will need to be at their best.

Even if the opponent is Singapore, ranked 155th in the Fifa, they can’t afford to let their guard down. “I don’t think they are underdogs. I’ve seen Ryan City and Jeonbuk play in Singapore. When you play as a team, you have to take it seriously, even if they are a strong team. There are no easy games. You can’t let your guard down. We can score on the counterattack or from set pieces,” Klinsmann said, and it’s understandable.

After Singapore, they face a tricky trip to China. We can’t ignore the role of Kim Min-jae, who plays for Beijing Guoan and knows the Chinese players better than anyone in the national team. He is the only one who knows how to deal with the Chinese crowd.

Of course, Hong Hyun-seok (Hent), Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart), and Lee Kang-in (PSG) experienced Chinese crowds at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games last October, but nothing compares to Kim’s two-and-a-half years of experience between January 2019 and summer 2021 and his knowledge of the players.

Kim Min-jae is a monster center back who is indispensable for Munich and South Korea.

With Kim Young-kwon getting less and less playing time and Jeong Seung-hyun (Ulsan) being used in the middle, Kim will be the one to hold the center. It’s inevitable that Munich will work him out of shape, but South Korea will need him to play full-time if they want to get off to a good start in their quest to qualify for their 11th consecutive World Cup. Resting Kim should only be an afterthought after South Korea blow a four- or five-goal lead against Singapore.


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