By Kim Hyun-ki (X Sports News) Kim Min-jae breaks new ground in the ‘graveyard of Asian soccer’. After joining Germany’s most prestigious club, Bayern Munich, Kim Min-jae will defend his pride as the No. 1 Asian transfer fee.

After signing a five-year contract with the Bavarians on Aug. 18 (local time), Kim took part in both morning and afternoon training sessions at their training camp in Tegernsee, located on the Austrian border in southern Germany. The Bavarians traditionally kick off the season in Tegernsee as a way to kick-start their campaign. After arriving in Munich via Frankfurt on July 17, Kim was officially announced as a member of the German national team on July 18.

On the third day of his stay in Germany, he finally appeared on the field.

“We will be training at the camp on Lake Tegernsee until the 20th,” the club said on its official website, adding, “Bayern Munich’s new number 3 Kim Min-jae is training with us.” According to a photo released by the club, Kim went for a morning run on a grassy field with a person believed to be his coach. Kim entered the Nonsan Training Center for basic military training on March 15 and left on March 6, taking about 10 days off after undergoing medical tests conducted by Munich in Seoul.

This was his first on-field training with the team since returning from Napoli earlier this month. The club had a video crew following Kim and a coach on the day to capture his runs.

He also worked up a sweat in the weight room, where he cycled to quickly improve his conditioning.

The clock has been ticking for the “Bayern Man” since his signing. The Bavarians have not had much luck with Asian players in the past, so all eyes will be on the youngster. Kim Min-jae himself is motivated to succeed in Munich, calling it his “dream club.”

As a member of the world’s top three clubs, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, Munich has a history of signing and developing Asian players unlike the previous two Spanish clubs. Before Kim, they had three players from Iran and one each from South Korea and Japan make it to the first team. However, all five failed to make a lasting impact, leading to expectations that Kim will be different.

The first Asian player to join Munich was Ali Daei, a big striker who scored four goals in Iran’s 6-2 quarterfinal victory over South Korea at the 1996 Asian Cup. After scoring seven goals in 26 games for then-Bundesliga side Arminia Bielefeld in 1998, he moved to Munich in 1999.

However, his time in Munich was not a bittersweet one. He made his debut for the German giants in front of a large Iranian diaspora in Germany, but was only a fringe player behind then-German international Karsten Janker. After scoring seven goals in 44 appearances, including three in the Bundesliga, Daiei won the Bundesliga title and the DFB Pokal Cup, but after just one season he moved on to Hertha Berlin.

Daiei was followed by Bahid Hashemian in 2004 from Bokum in Germany and Ali Karimi in 2005 from Al Ahli in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), continuing the lineage of Iranian Munich players. But their paths were not so different from Daei’s. Hasemian was highly touted after scoring double-digit goals in two consecutive seasons in Bokum, but he struggled in Munich, scoring just one goal in 15 games and moving to Hannover after just one season.

As for Karimi, his 27 appearances in his first season earned him a contract extension, but he missed much of the 2006/07 season due to injury and subsequently lost his place in the starting lineup, moving to Qatar SC and returning to the Middle East.

Munich’s fourth and fifth Asian players came from Japan and South Korea respectively. Takashi Usami, who became the first player in the club’s history to make first-team appearances at the age of 17 when he joined from Gamba Osaka in 2009, has started his first-team career on loan with a full transfer option.

Despite his young age, Usami had made a name for himself in the J-League for his penetrative ability and decisiveness, but was largely relegated to the second team in Munich. Usami eventually made just five official appearances and returned to Gamba Osaka without Munich exercising their outright transfer option.

In South Korea, Jung Woo-young, who appeared at last year’s World Cup in Qatar, was the first to break into the Bavarian first team. After passing a Munich U-19 trial in his senior year of high school, Jung joined the Bavarian club’s youth team in 2018/19, where he became a regular in the second team before being called up to the first team in November of that season.

Notably, he came on as a substitute against Benfica in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League, becoming the youngest South Korean player to make an appearance in the competition. However, he hasn’t featured much since and eventually moved to Freiburg ahead of the 2019/20 season, before moving back to Stuttgart this summer.

Munich has become a graveyard for Asian soccer to this day. No Asian player has been able to make a mark in the glamorous squad that has been assembled from Europe and South America, including the German national team.

However, Kim Min-jae is believed to be different. He is the sixth Asian to play for Munich, and the first defender. Especially since previous Asian players who have played for Munich have either played for smaller Bundesliga clubs or have come to Munich after good performances at Asian clubs and left with a bitter taste in their mouths, the fact that Kim signed a long-term contract with Munich after leading Napoli to the Italian Serie A title is a big deal. 토토사이트

The €50 million ($71.5 billion) transfer fee made him the most expensive player in Asian soccer history, so it’s a testament to his quality and a signing that he’s going to be around for a long time.

As a player who was handpicked by Munich coach Thomas Tuchel, he is expected to play an immediate role as a starter. In fact, when Tuchel saw him on the training field, he said he was “tall and fast,” and he looked like he’d won a prize.

Once thought to be impregnable in Asian soccer, Kim is now on the verge of breaking through at Bayern Munich. The Asian star is ready to make the leap from Italy’s top defenders to Munich’s stars.

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