Central defender Kim Min-jae, who is active in Italian professional football Serie A, was replaced for the first time after joining Napoli, and the coach explained the reason for injury prevention after the game.
Kim Min-jae started the 2022-2023 season Italian Serie A round 17 away match against Sampdoria at Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa, Italy.
He subsequently played only 45 minutes in the first half and was substituted for Amir Rahmani at the start of the second half with Napoli leading 1–0.
It is the first time Kim Min-jae has been substituted out in Napoli's official match since joining the team this summer.
In the meantime, Kim Min-jae started and played full-time in all 15 Serie A matches and 6 UEFA Champions League matches, except for the 6th round match against Spezia, which took a break.
Kim Min-jae, who had injured his calf muscle at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, was replaced on this day, raising concerns about his physical condition.
However, coach Luciano Spalletti explained after the game that it was to prevent injury.
According to Italian media such as Football Italia, Spalletti said, "Kim Min-jae felt his muscles stiffen," and "we didn't want to risk losing him for several months."
Then he added, "Kim Min-jae needs time to get back to the tempo of the game. We followed the instructions of the medical team."
During the first half of the 45 minutes, Kim Min-jae continued to play an active role in the build-up process, including a stable defense and successful 35 of 36 passes.
Napoli, who lost 0-1 in an away game against Inter Milan on the 5th after losing 11 consecutive wins with an undefeated 15 matches in the opening season, defeated Sampdoria 2-0 and improved the atmosphere.
Napoli, who took the lead with Victor Osimen's winning goal in the 19th minute of the first half, took the lead in the 38th minute with the sending off of opposing defensive midfielder Thomas Rincon.
Rincon was shown a red card for a foul while trying to stop Osimen, who received a long pass from Kim Min-jae.
Napoli scored in the 37th minute with Elif Elmas' penalty kick.
Napoli, who increased the season's points to 44 (14 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss), ran at the top of the league with 7 points ahead of second place Juventus (37 points, 11 wins, 4 draws, 2 losses).
(Photo = Getty Image Korea)