Kim Nam-Il

Kim Nam-Il
Kim Nam-Il
Kim Nam-Il IMG 2896.jpg
Personal information
Full name Kim Nam-il or Kim Namil
Date of birth 14 March 1977 (1977-03-14) (age 34)
Place of birth Incheon, South Korea
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Defensive Midfielder
Club information
Current club Tom Tomsk
Number 55
Youth career
1996–1999 Hanyang University
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2004 Chunnam Dragons 92 (7)
2002–2003 Excelsior (loan) 8 (0)
2005–2007 Suwon Bluewings 45 (4)
2008–2009 Vissel Kobe 54 (1)
2009– Tom Tomsk 41 (0)
National team
1999 South Korea U-23 17 (1)
1998– South Korea 96 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13:47, 27 August 2011 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22 June 2010
Kim Nam-Il
Hangul 김남일
Hanja 金南一
Revised Romanization Gim Nam-il
McCune–Reischauer Kim Namil

Kim Nam-il or Kim Namil (Korean: 김남일; born 14 March 1977) is a South Korean footballer. Kim is a defensive midfielder for Tom Tomsk in the Russian Premier League. He was virtually unknown before he became a superstar for his impressive defensive displays in the 2002 FIFA World Cup.




Kim Nam-Il began playing soccer in 3rd grade in grade school. His decision to play soccer was initially met with opposition from his parents because of his impressive academic performance.[1]

Formerly an unimpressive attacking midfielder, Guus Hiddink converted Kim into an international-class holding midfielder by utilising his defensive talents, being named to the best XI of the 2002 Gold Cup under his tutelage.

2002 FIFA World Cup

Kim became a star in 2002 because of his performance in 2002 FIFA World Cup. Kim was nicknamed the "The Vacuum Cleaner" from his peers for his clean tackling and aggressiveness to 'sweep' his zone of any balls.

Kim Nam-Il Syndrome

The term "Kim Nam-Il Syndrome" began to be coined by tabloids to describe Kim's superstardom status. During the 2002 World Cup, he gained an unusually large female fan base,[2] led to sold-out matches and goodies, and caused a sudden increase in Chunnam Dragons's popularity.[3][3] Kim, a former unknown to the public, then became highly desirable by numerous endorsement companies that were eager to pay high amounts of money.[3] Many TV programs had asked, or pressured at times for, Kim to appear, but Kim rejected their offers, and appeared only on interviews instead.[4]

He also became notorious for his frank and eccentric personality. Quotes of Kim during the Interviews surfaced on the internet, such as "Hey, Myung Bo, let's eat,"[5] (명보야 밥먹자) referring to Hong Myung Bo who is eight years his senior.

Post-2002 World Cup

After the World Cup, Kim briefly played on loan for Excelsior, a Dutch football club, hoping he would get an opportunity to play for Feyenoord, where Song Chong-Gug used to play for at the time. Unfortunately, Kim's contract expired before he could make a strong impression, and had no choice but to come back to Korea to play for Chunnam Dragons, where he used to play for before 2002 Football World Cup.

Kim's transfer to Suwon Bluewings in 2005 caused quite a controversy when traded for not one, but two athletes. One of the athletes who were traded for Kim was Ko Jong-Soo who was once a star player of the team for a very long time.

2006 World Cup

Overcoming an injury in his right foot, Kim made a comeback in late 2005 and quickly re-established his position in the national team and consequently won a place in the South Korean squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

In 2006, he said that he had given up his hope of playing for a football club in Europe, and wants to be "a legend of K-League who will be remembered by his fans forever."

In August 2006, he was chosen as the captain of the Korean national football team inheriting the title from Lee Woon-Jae.


In March 2007, Kim recently suffered a neck injury during a match against Busan I'Park. Suwon Samsung won the match 1-0 and set a record for 200 wins in the least number of games.[6]

Move to Japan

In 2008 he moved to Japan to play for J. League side Vissel Kobe. He played 31 league games and scored 1 goal in his first season in Japan. His team finished in 10th place.

Fresh start in Russia

In 2009, he moved to Russian club FC Tom Tomsk. For the time being, he has secured a starting spot as a defensive midfielder, providing staunch control of the midfield.

After the 2010 FIFA World Cup, he was advised by his agent to leave Russia for Saudi Arabia and join Al-Shabab Riyadh, but later Kim Nam-Il was declined and had to stay in Tomsk.[7]

Personal life

Kim is the youngest of the three brothers in his family, and is a close friend of Lee Kwan-Woo and Lee Dong-Gook.

Since 2006, there had been rumours about his relationship with anchorwoman Kim Bo-Min eventually leading to the possibility of his marriage. The question was raised once again when a netizen posted a picture of a woman whom he claimed was Kim Bo-Min at Suwon World Cup Stadium. The woman was wearing a hat and a light green scarf that covered about half of her face.[8]

Both Kim Bo-Min and Kim Nam-Il neither confirmed nor denied the allegation. In an interview with a women's magazine, the footballer's parents have stated that they have heard from their son that they are romantically involved, but did not hear about marriage.[9] In June 2007, the couple secretly became engaged and revealed that they had met three years ago.[10]

Club career statistics

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Korea Republic League Korean FA Cup K-League Cup Asia Total
2000 Chunnam Dragons K-League 20 0 ? ? 10 1 -
2001 25 0 ? ? 0 0 -
2002 14 0 ? ? 1 0 -
Netherlands League KNVB Cup League Cup Europe Total
2002-03 Excelsior Eredivisie 8 0 0 0 - -
Korea Republic League Korean FA Cup K-League Cup Asia Total
2003 Chunnam Dragons K-League 23 6 0 0 - - 23 6
2004 10 1 2 0 0 0 - 12 1
2005 Suwon Bluewings 2 0 3 2 4 0 ? ?
2006 23 0 4 0 3 0 - 30 0
2007 20 0 1 0 8 0 - 29 0
Japan League Emperor's Cup J. League Cup Asia Total
2008 Vissel Kobe J. League Division 1 31 1 1 0 1 0 - 33 1
2009 23[11] 0 1 0 2 0 - 26 0
Country Korea Republic 137 7 26 1
Netherlands 8 0 -
Japan 54 1 2 0 3 0 - 59 1
Total 199 8

International career statistics


South Korea national team
Year Apps Goals
1998 2 0
1999 0 0
2000 3 0
2001 7 1
2002 17 0
2003 11 0
2004 12 1
2005 6 0
2006 14 0
2007 2 0
2008 12 0
2009 4 0
2010 7 0
Total 97 2

International goals

Results list South Korea's goal tally first.
Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
November 10, 2001 South Korea Seoul  Croatia 1 goal 2-0 Friendly match
July 31, 2004 China Jinan  Iran 1 goal 3-4 2004 AFC Asian Cup




Suwon Bluewings


External links

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