“All players are in a tough situation, and I’m just grateful to be able to play without getting sick,” South Korean defender Kim Min-jae said in response to his ‘overuse controversy’.
Kim made the comments at a pre-match press conference at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center in Guangdong, China, on Tuesday.
The South Korean national football team, led by Jürgen Klinsmann (GER), will take on China at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center in Guangdong province, China, at 9 p.m. local time on Nov. 21 in the second Group C match of the 2026 FIFA Confederations Cup North America, the second Asian qualifying round.
Kim Min-jae said, “I think my body is tired from playing so many matches. How are you overcoming it?” When asked by the press, he said, “Of course it’s hard. But I wouldn’t say it’s hard because all players are hard,” he replied calmly.
“It’s different for those who are playing and those who aren’t, but it’s the same for everyone,” he admitted, adding, “It’s not fair to say, ‘It’s hard, I’m going to die,'” he emphasized.
“I’m just grateful to be playing without getting injured. I think it means I’m still in good shape,” he said, adding, “I’ll take care of myself so I don’t get injured.”
He also expressed his desire to extend Klinsmann’s streak to five straight A matches and six consecutive clean sheets.
“As the coach said, there is no easy game,” said Kim Min-jae, “but we came to play a winning game. It will be a tough game, but we are preparing well, so we will definitely win.”
He continued, “Of course, we are aiming for a clean sheet. If the defense doesn’t concede, the offense can score enough goals,” he said, adding that he has a lot of faith in his teammates.
“No matter what team you play, if the defense has problems first and starts conceding goals, it’s a tough game,” he said. “If the defense doesn’t concede, we can at least get a point.”
Kim Min-jae, who played for Beijing Guoan in 2019-2021, added: “It’s been a long time since I’ve played in China. “Every game is important,” said Kim, who played for Beijing Guoan in 2019-2021. “It’s important to have a good game.
“It’s important to have a good game, but I’m going to focus more on the fact that it’s also important to get a result in a tough match,” he said.
Kim Min-jae declared that he would put aside his nostalgia for the sake of South Korea’s victory.
“My old Beijing teammates are now playing for the national team. I’ve been in touch with them and asked them how they’re doing,” he said, adding, “If they start tomorrow, I’ll let my teammates know what kind of style each player has.” 토토