Japan’s soccer champions spend two seasons signing Nam Tae-hee

Defending J1 League champions Yokohama F. Marinos have been trying to land Asian All-Star Nam Tae-hee, 32, since 2022.

According to Japanese soccer publication Yokohama Express, the Marinos have been tracking Nam since last year. They waited for the right moment to sign him on a free transfer from Qatar Stars League side Al Duhail.

He signed a contract with the Marinos through next season after two 10- and 12-year stints with Al Duhail. Japan are projected to finish third in the 2023-24 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) rankings, with Qatar fifth.

With Al Duhail, he helped them win the Qatari top flight from 2012-2014-2015-2017-2018-2023. In the Stars League, Alduhail only won the title in 2011 and 2020 without Nam Tae-hee.

According to the Yokohama Express, Marinos praised Nam Tae-hee’s style of play as an all-weather second-choice who can play on the wing as well as at the top back (attacking midfield), a veteran with a wealth of experience, and an energizer for the attack.

Nam was a member of the 2012 London Olympics bronze medal and 2015 Asian Cup runner-up team. He recorded three goals and five assists in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, one goal in the AFC Asian Cup finals and one goal in the Olympic qualifiers.

Nam’s 2016-17 season was the first and still the last time in StarLeague history that a player from an Asian country other than Qatar has won the official MVP award.

The Yokohama Express said, “Since joining the team, he has continued to showcase his high-level technique. He can shoot with either his right or left foot, and he can hit one sharp shot after another.” The Marinos also shared their reaction to Nam Tae-hee.

In 2020-21, Nam helped Al Sadd regain the top spot in the Qatar Stars League for the first time in two years, showing that he can play outside of Al Duhail and increasing his value on the West Asian stage.온라인바카라

He averaged 0.67 attacking points per 90 minutes in Qatari professional soccer, including cup competitions, and 0.71 outside of Alduhail. He also proved his international competitiveness by being named to the 2018-2019 AFC Champions League All-Star team for the second consecutive season.

Along with Nam, Alduhail helped Qatar reach the round of 16 in the Asian Football Confederation Champions League for five consecutive seasons from 2015-2019 and the semifinals in 2022.

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