On the 15th, ‘monster defender’ Kim Min-jae, who returned to his team Italy Serie A Naples through Incheon International Airport, drew attention by telling reporters, “I’m jealous of Japan” before leaving the country. He kept quiet in front of the media despite playing the leading role in the round of 16 of the Qatar World Cup.

The reason Kim Min-jae unexpectedly mentioned Japan, a ‘neighboring country’, was because he hoped that the proportion of players from the European leagues, which constitute a major axis of the national team’s competitiveness, would increase. In Japan, which succeeded in advancing to the round of 16 for the second consecutive World Cup, including Qatar, 19 out of 26 players in the final list were European. In the World Cup in Russia four years ago, it was 14 out of 23 players. On the other hand, South Korea had eight from Qatar and five from Russia.

Korea has top-class players like Son Heung-min (Tottenham), but it has always been behind Japan in the number of players in the big leagues in the 2000s. Japan, the capital of simply leaving the big leagues and challenging the European small and medium leagues, was greatly overwhelmed. There is a player’s will problem, but there are also realistic obstacles placed for Korean players, such as military service. However, what Kim Min-jae pointed out was the cooperation of the K-League clubs. Compared to the senior generation, several clubs have recently made concessions in sympathy with the player’s overseas expansion, but they are still putting obstacles such as ‘high transfer fee’. He said, “(When a K-League player goes to Europe) there are many things to solve with the club. Transfer fees are also expensive. If I dare to say a word, I hope that if an offer comes from a European team, it will be sent well.”

Another topic raised by Kim Min-jae is the ‘four-year guarantee’ for the national team’s command tower. He said, “You have to believe” in the story of Paulo Bento’s successor, “You have to be able to wear the football the coach wants for a long time. Of course, he has to produce results, but even if he fails, he considers it part of the process.”

Not only Kim Min-jae, but also Hwang In-beom, Baek Seung-ho, and Lee Kang-in of the 2026 World Cup-centered generation all have the same idea that the next command tower should be given enough time. Korean football has been on the periphery of the world stage, but it has prepared a stepping stone for a leap forward starting from the semifinals of the Korea-Japan tournament in 2002. However, only Bento’s ‘one person’ left after completing the contract for the ‘World Cup cycle of 4 years’. The previous command tower dropped out due to poor performance in the process of heading to the finals, such as the Asian Cup and World Cup final qualifiers. Excluding coach Uli Stielike (Germany), who was on the verge of being eliminated from the World Cup finals, it was often cut for ‘converting the situation’ and appointed a replacement.

Several players agree that it is a long-term command tower appointment as they spend four years under Bento’s coaching system. Lee Cheong-yong (Ulsan), who worked as a columnist for this magazine during the World Cup, said, “I felt that our players played the most comfortably in the World Cup ever, perhaps because they played the same soccer under the same coach.” 토토사이트

Due to the favorable performance of the World Cup, the next head coach has no choice but to receive a cold evaluation from the Asian Cup scheduled for next year. The Korea Football Association (KFA) proposed ‘1 (Asian Cup) + 3 years’ in the process of negotiating the renewal of the Bento manager’s contract. This World Cup made the fans as well as the players feel that the quality of the game can be improved only when sufficient time is given to the new coach. That’s why Kim Min-jae’s statement, “You have to believe it,” sounds more earnest.

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