Nam Tae-hee (32, Yokohama F. Marinos) is so highly regarded in Japan that he has been compared to former European Soccer Publications Association (ESM) Team of the Year Shinji Kagawa (34, Cerezo Osaka).
On Sept. 10, Yokohama F. Marinos defeated Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo 3-0 at home in the second leg of the 2023 J-League Cup quarterfinals. Attacking midfielder Nam Tae-hee scored the game-winning goal five minutes into the second half.
It was Nam’s first goal in Japanese soccer in just two starts. Japanese magazine Soccer Digest said, “A monster has emerged in the Marinos midfield. He reminds me of Shinji Kagawa when he’s at his best,” said the magazine.
Shinji Kagawa is honored in the 2011-12 ESM Best 11, 2012 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) International Player of the Year, 2015-16 German Bundesliga Best 11, and 2021 International Federation of Fertility and Health Statistics (IFFHS) Asia All-Time Best 11.
Eight years ago, Germany was ranked second in the UEFA rankings. Nam Tae-hee has signed with Marinos until next season after two 10- and 12-year spells with Alduhail (Qatar).
Japan is ranked third in the 2023-24 Asian League rankings, while Qatar is fifth. Soccer Digest raved about Nam, saying, “His sharp dribble breaks, brilliant mid-range shots, and intimidating touch on the ball made it hard not to admire him.”
Tae-hee was part of the Al Duhail team that won the Qatari top division from 2012-2014-2015-2017-2018-2023. Alduhail have only won the title without him in 2011 and 2020.
Nam’s 2016-17 season was the first, and still the last, time in Stars League history that a player from an Asian country other than Qatar won the official MVP award.
Soccer Digest said, “He’s quick on the ball (without dragging it out unnecessarily) and gets the offense going. He can score with great individual ability, but he doesn’t take too many shots,” summarizing what the Marinos can expect with Nam.
Nam proved his worth in West Asia in 2020-21, helping Al Sadd return to the top of the Qatar Stars League for the first time in two years and showing that he can play outside of Al Duhail.
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 reached the round of 16 in five consecutive AFC Champions League seasons from 2015-2019 and the semifinals in 2022.
Nam won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics and was a member of the 2015 Asian Cup runners-up. He recorded three goals and five assists in FIFA World Cup qualifying, one goal in the AFC Asian Cup final and one goal in Olympic qualifying.
After winning the Japan Super Cup and falling in the round of 32 of the FA Cup this season, the Marinos are in the hunt for a third domestic title after finishing second in the J1 League and reaching the semifinals of the J-League Cup 카지노.
The club is in Group G of the 2023-24 AFC Champions League Round of 40 alongside Shandong Taishan (China), Cagayan de Oro (Philippines) and Incheon United (South Korea).