‘Low-cost, high-efficiency’ Naples, is it possible to become a ‘Korean version of Naples’?

The team that is causing the best sensation in European football in the 2022-23 season is SSC Napoli (Italy).

Napoli, the team Kim Min-jae transferred to this season, has booked the Italian Serie A championship in the 2022-23 season. After 23 league games, Napoli (62 points) is 15 points ahead of second-placed Inter Milan (47 points). It is truly an overwhelming lead. Napoli is on the verge of winning its first title in 33 years since 1990, when Diego Maradona was playing.

The amazing thing about Napoli is that it has achieved ‘low cost high efficiency’, which seems almost impossible in the modern European soccer reality.

The main players leading Napoli this season are freshmen. In addition to Kim Min-jae, striker Hvica Kvarachhelia and midfielder Andre Frank Jambo Anguisa joined through the transfer market last summer.

Naples had them at a relatively low price. Kim Min-jae recorded a transfer fee of 18.05 million euros (25 billion won), Angusa 15 million euros (20.8 billion won), and Kvarazhelia 10 million euros (13.9 billion won).

The transfer fee for Enzo Fernandez, which Chelsea acquired at the club’s highest price earlier this month, was 120 million euros (166.4 billion won). It’s an extreme comparison, but it’s a point where you can see how cheaply Napoli got a real player.

The reason why Napoli achieved great success with low cost and high efficiency is because they properly grasped the player’s potential. According to Italian media Gazzetta dello Sport, Napoli has been observing Kim Min-jae since he played in the Chinese league in 2019.

We listened to the opinions of current K-League club officials about the secret to Napoli’s success. Kim Byung-ji, CEO of Gangwon FC, said, “Active investment, an environment in which players can be discovered, and leadership skills must be achieved at the same time. I don’t think (Napoli’s storm) came about just because they were good at scouting. In some ways, the director’s competence may be more important.”

Lim Joong-yong, head of the Power Reinforcement Office, who is involved in the formation of Incheon United’s squad, said, “It is not possible to recruit good players just with money. You have to have a lot of data,” he said. “It seems that players are selected after discussions between the manager, coaches, and practitioners. A team that produces good results at low cost collects enough data and then communicates.”

They analyzed that Napoli this season reminds me of Leicester City, the winner of the English Premier League (EPL) in the 2015-16 season. Leicester City is the EPL representative ‘team of the blast’, and although there were no famous players at the time, they united as a team and won the EPL championship with a quick counterattack.

Can there be a change like Naples’ gust in the 2023 K League 1? K-League 1 is a two-way structure between Jeonbuk Hyundai and Ulsan Hyundai, which have long invested. Most experts predict that Jeonbuk and Ulsan will compete for the championship again this year.

CEO Kim Byung-ji said, “If we invest more than 10 to 20 billion won in the European big leagues to recruit players, the chances of success are higher than ours. Even if the K-League brings in foreigners, isn’t it looking for less than 1 million dollars (1.3 billion won)? It is difficult to bring in players like pearls in the information society.” 안전놀이터

Im Joong-yong said, “Football is one of the sports with many variables,” but “To win, we need to recruit good players, but the harmony between the club, the players, and the fans is important. (In the championship competition) It is quite difficult to beat Ulsan and Jeonbuk. It cannot be done in a short period of time, and field staff and club officials must continuously discuss the team color.” I thought that the underdog’s rebellion had a possibility only when it was persistently pushed in one direction.

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