South Korea’s Kim Min-jae: ‘My nickname The Monster sums me up’

Napoli defender on travelling to his first Korea call-up in a fish truck, doing national service and watching the glory games of 2002Kim Min-jae describes it as “one of the greatest moments in my life”, and it certainly made for an unusual scene, quite the entrance. The imposing South Korea centre-half has taken Serie A by storm since signing for Napoli in the summer and he intends to do likewise at the World Cup. But before he looks forward – South Korea kick off against Uruguay on Thursday – he wants to look back, to reflect on when it all started.Kim had to do things the hard way. The boy from Tongyeong, a small city on Korea’s south coast, was thrilled to have received his first call-up to the South Korea under-17 team in 2012 but it meant a long journey to the Paju national football centre at the other end of the country.

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