‘Monster’ Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich) has been recognized as the world’s best defender. After joining the prestigious German Bundesliga club, Kim’s stock continues to rise as he has been named the world’s most outstanding defender.
Kim was named 22nd overall at the 2023 Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris, France, on Jan. 31 (KST).
He is the only Asian player on the 30-man shortlist for this year’s Ballon d’Or. This makes him the fourth Korean player to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or, following Seol Ki-hyun (2002), Park Ji-sung (2005), and Son Heung-min (2019?2022).
It is also the first time an Asian defender is among the 30 finalists. Previously, Japan’s Hidetoshi Nakata (1998-1999) and Iraq’s Younis Mahmoud (2007) were nominated for the Ballon d’Or, but they played midfield and forward, respectively. Even including Seol Ki-hyun, Park Ji-sung, and Son Heung-min, there were no defenders.
Kim Min-jae was recognized as the best defender in 2023. The other two defenders on the top 30 list were Josuco Gvardiol (Manchester City) at No. 25 and Jubeng Dias (Manchester City) at No. 30. While they fell short of Son Heung-min’s 11th place finish in 2022, it’s a significant milestone.
Looking back at Kim’s performance, it makes sense. He joined Napoli in the Italian Serie A last summer and led the team to the top of the league for the first time in 33 years.
In addition to his solid defense, Kim possesses the offensive talent and precise forward passing that modern soccer demands from defenders.
Upon joining Napoli, Kim quickly established himself as a regular starter, contributing to the team in both defense and attack. For his performances, Kim became the first Asian player to win the Serie A Defender of the Year award.
In his first ever UEFA Champions League appearance, 카지노사이트랭크 Kim also caught the eye of the world with his stellar performances against the likes of Liverpool (England) and Frankfurt (Germany).
Eventually, this summer, Kim joined Bayern Munich, one of Europe’s top clubs. The Bavarians shelled out €50 million (approximately $71.4 billion) in transfer fees alone to acquire Kim. It’s the highest transfer fee ever for an Asian player.
It doesn’t stop there. Kim’s annual salary is €12 million, which is also the highest for an Asian player.
At Bayern Munich, Kim quickly established himself as a mainstay. Competing for a starting spot with French international defender Dayo Upamecano and Dutch international Matthijs de Ligt, Kim has gained the upper hand and earned the trust of head coach Thomas Tuchel.
If he can continue his form at Bayern Munich and lift trophy after trophy, his reputation will only increase. In the future, he could finish higher than 22nd in the Ballon d’Or standings. 고스톱