Minjae Kim, FC Bayern

7 facts on new signing Minjae Kim

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FC Bayern have a new centre-back as Minjae Kim moves from Naples to Munich to bolster the German record champions' rearguard. Bayern fans can look forward to a well-rounded defender, who combines robustness and tough tackling with a good passing game. Background, playing style, nickname - we've picked out seven interesting facts on the 26-year-old South Korean.

1. Background

Kim was born on 15 November 1996 in the South Korean port city of Tongyeong and grew up in humble circumstances. In an interview with The Guardian in late 2022, he reported that his parents ran a small sushi restaurant in the southern city. On his first call-up to the South Korea U17 national team in 2012, his father took him by truck overnight across the country to the national football centre in Paju, near Seoul. "I am very close to my father and those are the moments that made me who I am," Kim revealed.

2. Always asserted himself immediately

Minjae Kim, FC Bayern, Napoli
Kim quickly established himself at Napoli and was one of the main factors in the southern Italians' success last season.

Wherever Kim has played in recent years, he's always established himself as a regular starter straight away. From Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, his first top-flight club in his native South Korea, to Fenerbahce and most recently Napoli, Kim has always been able to impose himself from the get-go. He featured in 45 out of 49 competitive matches for Napoli last term, 44 of them from the start.

3. Aerial supremacy

Kim is 1.90 metres tall and impressed at Napoli with his heading. In the last Serie A campaign, he won 92 aerial duels. Among defenders, only Alessandro Buongiorno (99) of Torino posted a higher figure. Both of his goals last season also came with his head.

4. Strong in the challenge

Minjae Kim, FC Bayern, SSc Napoli
Strong in the challenge in the air and on the ground - Minjae Kim here in the Champions League round of 16 against Frankfurt's Mario Götze.

In general, Kim shone in his tackling last term. The South Korea international came out on top in an impressive 63 percent of challenges, and in 35 league appearances there were only five times when an opponent dribbled past him (best in Serie A for players who played at least 24 games). In the 2022/23 Champions League, he was the only defender besides Real Madrid's Antonio Rüdiger who was never beaten (players who played at least 550 minutes).

5. Top stats in build-up play

But it wasn't just in his main job of defending that Kim excelled. He also posted remarkable stats in build-up play, with a pass completion rate of 91 percent across all competitions. He was also the outfield player who made the most forward passes in Europe's top five leagues in 2022/23 (1,057) and the third most passes that reached their target (2,547).

Minjae Kim, FC Bayern

6. Nickname 'Monster'

Even during his time in South Korea, his robustness and tough tackling earned him the nickname 'Monster'. "I like it," Kim told The Guardian. "It sums up my positive qualities as a defender."

7. Bayern's second South Korean

Kim becomes only the second South Korean to play for FCB. Wooyeong Jeong, who recently signed for VfB Stuttgart, made two appearances for the German record champions in the 2018/19 season.

Get your Minjae Kim No.3 shirt now!

We take a closer look at our new signing: 

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