Affectionately dubbed the Vacuum, Kim Nam-Il is a strong defensive midfielder who can clear any danger from the middle of the park with his intelligent marking skills and tough tackling.
After winning his first cap against Vietnam during the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok, Kim began his professional career at Chunnam Dragons in 2000. He was an integral part of the Taeguk Warriors side at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/JapanÔ, helping his country reach the last four with solid performances throughout the tournament.
Following a brief spell in the Dutch Eredivisie with Feyenoord and Excelsior, Kim returned to the Dragons before completing his move to Suwon Bluewings in 2005. He went on to take part in his second FIFA World Cup, although he could not keep Korea Republic from making an early exit from Germany 2006. Kim was appointed as the captain of the Taeguk Warriors shortly afterwards, and wore the armband until he missed out of the 2007 AFC Asian Cup due to a hernia.
Kim was recalled to the national team at the beginning of the Asian Zone qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South AfricaÔ, and captained his country in all of the six matches in the third round. However, he was suspended after the fourth round opener against Korea DPR in September 2008, where he received a yellow card for a foul on Hong Yong-Jo. Kim returned to the national team last November ahead of the friendlies with Denmark and Serbia in the build-up to the finals.