Coach Jose Mourinho (60, Portugal), who leads AS Roma of the Italian professional football Serie A, revealed an anecdote from his time at Tottenham (England) when he wanted to recruit Korean “monster defender” Min-jae Kim (27), but had to give up due to the club’s unsatisfactory response. .
Coach Mourinho mentioned Kim Min-jae at a press conference ahead of the 2022-2023 Serie A round 20 away match with Napoli on the 28th (local time), saying, "I will tell you about one Napoli player."
Mourinho said, "I had a video call with the player. I wanted to sign him when I was at Tottenham, but Tottenham didn't help me."
"(At the time) it cost 10 million euros (about 13.4 billion won) to bring the player, but Tottenham only offered 5 million euros," he said. I couldn't write," he pinched.
In November 2019, he took the helm of Tottenham as the successor to former coach Pochettino and coached Son Heung-min for about a year and a half.
Coach Mourinho said, “I had two or three video calls with Kim Min-jae. He really wanted to come (to Tottenham), but he couldn’t.”
At the time, it is speculated that Tottenham was not active in recruiting because it did not trust Mourinho's eyes and underestimated Kim Min-jae.
If Mourinho's idea went as planned, Kim Min-jae and Son Heung-min could have a meal together not only in the national team but also in Tottenham.
Mourinho also pointed out that Napoli, with Kim Min-jae protecting the rear, has virtually confirmed the league championship.
"I think Napoli has already won the scudetto (the shield pattern that the winning team will put on next season's uniform). I congratulate them for being such a worthy team," he said. .
At the same time, he also conveyed his fighting spirit, saying, "We are also going on an expedition to get results," and said that he would not back down from the confrontation.
With 16 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss in 19 league games, Napoli (50 points) has cemented its lead early on.
The difference between 2nd place Inter Milan (13 wins, 1 draw, 6 losses, 40 points) is 10, and 12 points from 3rd place AC Milan (11 wins, 5 draws, 3 losses, 38 points).
Kim Min-jae's contribution to Napoli's high-altitude march is not small.
Kim Min-jae, who was picked as a resource to fill the void of Kalidou Koulibaly, the team's veteran defender who left for Chelsea (England), plays 18 of 19 league games and leads Napoli with the least number of goals.
Napoli conceded just 14 goals while scoring 46, the best figure among 20 Serie A teams.
Roma (37 points) is in 6th place with 11 wins, 4 draws and 4 losses.
(Photo = Getty Image Korea)