Minjae Kim, FC Bayern

Introducing new signing Minjae Kim

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Servus and welcome to Munich, Minjae Kim! The South Korean centre-back joins FC Bayern from Italian champions Napoli on a five-year contract until 30 June 2028. We've taken a closer look at the new signing and introduce you to the 26-year-old.

A complete centre-back

Minjae Kim, FC Bayern, Napoli
Minjae Kim won the Serie A title with Napoli last season.

Born on 15 November 1996 in the South Korean port city of Tongyeong, Kim has made a name for himself in European football in the last two years, first at Fenerbahce and most recently at Napoli. The 1.90-metre-tall right-footer is regarded as a complete centre-back, who's characterised by his strong tackling and aerial presence as well as his pace and passing ability.

Tough in the tackle and excellent in build-up play

Minjae Kim, FC Bayern
As well as his robustness and strong tackling, Kim also impresses with his passing game.

Kim's impressive performances helped Napoli to their first Italian league title in 33 years last term. After his move from Istanbul in summer 2022, he immediately established himself as a first-team regular and played 45 out of 49 games in all competitions - all but one of them from the start. The South Korean particularly impressed with his tackling (63%) and passing (91%) success rates. He was also the 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).

Serie A Defender of the Season

Luciano Spalletti, his coach at Napoli, was full of praise for Kim: "He does at least 20 unbelievable things per game. When he runs with the ball at his feet, he's inside the opposition penalty area within five seconds." In September last year, just two months after arriving in Italy, Kim was named Serie A Player of the Month. Come the end of the campaign, he was crowned Defender of the Season in Italy's top flight. 

Career started in South Korea

Minjae Kim, FC Bayern
Kim played with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in South Korea's top division and also in the AFC Champions League, seen here in the quarter-finals against Suwon Samsung Bluewings in 2018.

His professional football career began in summer 2016, when he signed for South Korean third-tier club Gyeongju KHNP. That was followed just six months later by the move to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in K League 1, the top flight, where he immediately established himself and celebrated two league titles with the Jeonju side (2017 and 2018). Kim then joined Chinese top-flight club Beijing Guoan in January 2019.

Fenerbahce then Napoli

Minjae Kim, FC Bayern
Kim's teammates at Fenerbahce included ex-Bayern player Luiz Gustavo – here the pair are in action in a Europa League match at Eintracht Frankfurt.

After two-and-a-half years in China, Kim made the switch to Turkish giants Fenerbahce, where he again held down a regular starting spot. In the 2021/22 season, the defender made 40 competitive outings (39 starts) and finished as a runner-up in the Süper Lig with the Istanbul club. Napoli then secured the services of Kim, who made a splash with his performances and established himself at the highest level in Europe for good.

49 caps for South Korea

Minjae Kim, South Korea
Kim reached the last 16 with South Korea at the World Cup in Qatar, where they were beaten by Brazil.

Kim made his senior international debut for South Korea in August 2017, and since 2018 he's been an indispensable member of the national team, which has been coached by Jürgen Klinsmann since February of this year. The centre-back has made 49 international appearances in total, with three goals. Kim reached the last 16 of last year's World Cup in Qatar with his country.

Nicknamed 'Monster'

Minjae Kim, FC Bayern
Bayern fans can look forward to a top-quality central defender.

His mentality and formidable physical attributes already earned him the nickname 'Monster' during his time in South Korea. Uncompromising in the challenge and intelligent in build-up play – Bayern fans can look forward to a multi-talented new centre-back.

Get your Minjae Kim No.3 shirt now!

Here are the top facts on our South Korean signing: 

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