“I’m trying not to disgrace Korea.”
Although he is not involved in the Korean league, the pride and title of a ‘Korean player’ is acting as a driving force. I am talking about Kim Ji-min (29, Chiang Rai FC), who is playing in the Thai (Thailand) League 1 wearing a Chiang Mai United FC uniform.
K-League teams are in the midst of winter training in preparation for the 2023 season. While most of them used Thailand as a training ground, a welcome face appeared against Jeju United in a practice game.
It was Jimin Kim. A native of Busan youth, he stepped on the professional stage in Busan in 2012, went to Gimhae City Hall in the third division in 2017, Gyeongju Citizens Soccer Team in 2018, and later Pohang Steelers and Suwon FC. Kim Ji-min, who could not settle down with one team, opened a new nest in Thailand in July of last year.
Kim Ji-min, who happily greeted goalkeeper Kim Hyeong-geun, 메이저놀이터 whom he played with in Busan after the practice game, said, “It has been about 6 months since I came to Thailand. He laughed, saying, “I thought life in a foreign country would be a little different, but it was the same.”
He decided to challenge Chiang Rai’s ‘offer’. Kim Ji-min said, “I had a desire to challenge overseas at least once. He wanted me on the team, and the opportunity came along.”
On this day, it was like meeting Korea as an enemy. Kim Ji-min, who showed a subtle smile, said, “It felt strange,” and said, “When I play against the Thai team, I get angry and rough, but today I couldn’t do that. It was different because I met a Korean team on behalf of another country.”
Although he is in Thailand, he has the pride of being a ‘Korean player’. Kim Ji-min said, “Although he lives abroad, he has a Korean background behind him. If I don’t do it right, I’m bound to get scolded. I am working hard so as not to disgrace (Korea).”
The Thai League (Thailand) is still in progress. It is Thailand’s top-level professional soccer league, which is held as a Chunchun festival. 30 rounds are held from September to May. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was changed to Chuchunje.