Kim Min-jae has once again been recognized as a world-class defender.
The soccer publication Globe Soccer announced the 30 finalists for the 2023 Globe Soccer Player of the Year Award on Nov. 21 (KST). The Globe Soccer Awards, which recognize the best players of the year, were launched in 2010. The awards ceremony will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, next January.
The list of nominees is impressive. In addition to Lionel Messi, who is considered the best player in soccer history, the list includes Kylian Mbappe, Elling Holland, and Robert Lewandowski.
Including Kim Min-jae. Last season, Kim led Napoli to their first Serie A title in 33 years with his defensive prowess. At the end of the season, he was named Serie A’s best defender. They were also named the league’s team of the year.
It was the best year of his career, and unsurprisingly, several big clubs were after him. One of them was Bayern Munich. The Bavarians were in need of defensive reinforcements after Luca Hernandez left for Paris Saint-Germain. After joining the club, he immediately won a starting spot.
He became the first Asian defender to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or. The soccer media had high expectations. Goal.com released its Ballon d’Or 2023 power rankings. They ranked Kim 20th, saying, “He was one of the best signings of the summer of 2022. Napoli waited painfully to win the Serie A title. He helped end that wait.”
“While most of Napoli’s forwards have been praised, Kim Min-jae’s impact cannot be underestimated. The perfect modern defender, his blend of skill and physicality provided for Napoli’s championship.” 무지개토토 도메인
Unfortunately, his final ranking was two places lower than expected. Kim finished 22nd in the final Ballon d’Or. This is the second-highest ranking for a South Korean player ever, behind Son Heung-min, who finished 11th in the 2022 Ballon d’Or.
It was the highest finish for a defender. Manchester City’s Josuco Gbardiol and Roberto Firmino finished 25th and 30th, respectively. Kim Min-jae was recognized as one of the best defenders in Europe, standing tall among the world’s best.
Since joining Munich, there have been some bad times. After the 6th round Bundesliga match against Leipzig, he was criticized. After the game, Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel publicly criticized Kim. “There was no reason for him to go one-on-one,” Tuchel said. Upamecano didn’t cover him and allowed him space,” Tuchel said.