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Bayern Munich’s Kim Min-jae grants insights into his life, family, and upbringing in South Korea

The first Asian defender to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or used to train like Rocky Balboa.

Bayern Munich - FC Augsburg Photo by Tom Weller/picture alliance via Getty Images

Bayern Munich’s Kim Min-jae has been a stellar signing. His pace, robustness, and passing skills have given him the name “The Monster” long before hitting Bavarian grounds. Despite being known as a tough defender, Kim has granted fans some insights into his life and upbringing that show he is a pretty cool guy! The South Korean had an interview with Bayern’s magazine Säbener51 as captured by @iMiaSanMia and states that playing for Die Roten is a dream come true:

Kim named Bayern legends Franz Beckenbauer and Lúcio as two players who inspired him greatly.

“Both were exceptionally strong defenders and at the same time also had great qualities in building up play going forward. I try to integrate these attributes into my game. What impresses me most about both of them is that they played at the very highest level for a very long time - and were central figures at FC Bayern for a very long time. If I could do that here, too, I’d be very happy”

Min-jae also expressed that his family is very important to him. Though he never struggled with homesickness when he left his country, he is happy that his wife and child are with him in Munich now to support and strengthen him. He went on to explain how his parents shaped him to continuously strive to develop his skills as well as his character.

“My parents taught me that you can and should always keep learning, no matter how old you are. Otherwise you don’t develop. I observe my colleagues, I observe the people around me and I move through the world with my eyes open. That’s part of my character.”

These characteristics might be the reason why the defender pushed himself so hard to become such a versatile center-back. He even used to pull car tires up the hill in a drastic Rocky-like fashion to become faster. When asked further about this method, the man said simply: “I don’t know if it helped - but it probably didn’t hurt”.

Kim believes that his experiences in China, Turkey, and Italy — where he played for Beijing Guoan F.C., Fenerbahçe S.K., and SSC Napoli, respectively, have taught him various skills.

“In China, I came up against really strong strikers - I was able to improve my one-on-one skills. In Turkey, they often employed spatial defending, which helped me in that respect: when do you drop back, when do you get forward? In Naples, both options were required because Italy is very flexible tactically. I was able to implement my game there. At the time, the coach also demanded that I get involved in attack ”.

Fun fact: In elementary school, Kim played as a center forward. The player from Tongyeong, South Korea is currently focusing on playing as much as possible for his dream club Bayern Munich. Der Stern des Südens found itself a fantastic player for the backline. What are your thoughts on Kim Min-jae and his performance thus far? Let us know in the comments below!

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