‘22nd place in Ballon d’Or → No. 1 CB in the world!’ Kim Min-jae’s crazy form made history, but he couldn’t surpass ‘Captain’ Son Heung-min
‘Iron Pillar’ Kim Min-jae (27, Bayern Munich) was selected as the world’s best central defender in 2023.
French football magazine ‘France Football’ held the 2023 Ballon d’Or awards ceremony on the 31st (Korean time). The official Ballon d’Or social media announced the rankings in descending order from 30th place ahead of the announcement of the 1st place winner. Minjae Kim ranked 22nd.
The Ballon d’Or, which started in 1956, is given to the player who showed the best performance during the year. It is the most prestigious award a soccer player can receive.
Minjae Kim was ranked 22nd. The only Asian nationality among the 30 finalists, he was ranked the highest among defenders.토스카지노 도메인
The Ballon d’Or will change to a season system starting in 2022. As an evaluation criterion, individual performance is the most important, followed by team performance, player class, and fair play.
Kim Min-jae, who transferred from Fenerbahce (Turkiye) to Naples ahead of the 2022-2023 season, contributed greatly to the team’s first Serie A win in 33 years with his unwavering defensive ability. In recognition of his ability, he was transferred to the ‘prestigious German club’ Bayern Munich ahead of this season.
It is reported that Munich paid a buyout (minimum transfer amount) of 50 million euros (approximately 71.1 billion won) to Naples to retain Kim Min-jae. This was a large amount of money, the third highest transfer fee in the history of the Munich club at the time.
Looking at Kim Min-jae’s performance in Naples, you can see why Munich took him. Kim Min-jae wore the Naples uniform last season and played 35 league games, scoring 2 goals and 2 assists, leading the club to the fewest goals conceded in the league (28 goals). He appeared in 35 games and played 3,054 minutes. He compiled a report card of 1.6 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 3.5 clearances, and 0.7 shooting blocks per game.
According to ‘Whoscored.com,’ a site specializing in ratings, Kim Min-jae was given an average rating of 7.07 in the 2022-2023 league season. It is an indicator that he has been active consistently.
Minjae Kim received credit. He was also honored with the Player of the Month award selected by the Serie A Secretariat in September last year and the Player of the Month Award selected by the Italian Football Players Association in October.
Kim Min-jae was once again recognized for his ability with an ‘award’ after the league ended.
Last June, he became the first Asian player to be selected as the best defender in Serie A. This is the first time that the Serie A Best Defender Award, which was first established in the 2018-2019 season, went to a member of the winning team.
Serie A applauded Minjae Kim when announcing his award, saying, “Congratulations on your great debut.” Italian media outlet ‘Tutto Napoli’ also reported the news of Kim Min-jae and praised him, saying, “Kim Min-jae is the best defender in Serie A.”
Korean national soccer team coach Jurgen Klinsmann also said, “It was a happy and proud scene to see Kim Min-jae lifting the Serie A championship trophy. “He left behind a memorable achievement for the rest of his life,” he said.
Previously, in December last year, Kim Min-jae helped the Korean national soccer team advance to the round of 16 of the 2022 Qatar World Cup. Although he suffered from injuries, he protected his backline with solid defense. Thanks to this, Korea, led by coach Paulo Bento, achieved the ‘Miracle of Al Rayan’ by dramatically defeating Portugal in the final game of the group stage and advancing to the round of 16.
Kim Min-jae, who wore the Munich uniform with continuous performance, said, “Joining Munich is every soccer player’s dream. I’m really excited to see what happens here. It’s a new beginning for me. We will develop further. “From the first time I discussed a transfer with the club, I could tell right away how much interest there was in me,” he said about joining the club.
“The first goal in Munich is to play as many games as possible and win as many trophies as possible. “I want to achieve a treble,” he said.
About five months after receiving the Serie A Defender Award, he ranked 22nd in the Ballon d’Or rankings. It is the highest ranking among defenders. This means that there was no defender in the soccer world who showed more impressive performance than Kim Min-jae last year.
The mere fact that an Asian defender was selected as a finalist is history.
Kim Min-jae was the only Asian player to be selected as a candidate. It is also the first time that an Asian defender has been included in the Ballon d’Or nominations. All Asian players who have been nominated for the Ballon d’Or so far have been strikers and midfielders.
In addition, Kim Min-jae became the fourth Korean player to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or, following Seol Ki-hyun in 2002, Park Ji-sung in 2005, and Son Heung-min in 2019 and 2022. Seol Ki-hyun, Park Ji-sung, and Son Heung-min spent their active years as strikers or midfielders.
In addition to Korea, Japan’s Hidetoshi Nakata in 1998 and 1999 and Iraq’s Eunice Mahmoud in 2007 were also nominated for the Ballon d’Or, and their positions were midfielder and striker, respectively.
Prior to Kim Min-jae, Son Heung-min received 4 5th place votes from the 2019 voters and ranked 22nd out of 30 candidates with 4 points. In 2022, when he was joint top scorer (23 goals) in the English Premier League (EPL), he ranked 11th in the final Ballon d’Or, recording the highest ranking for an Asian player.
‘National team junior’ Kim Min-jae fell short of Son Heung-min’s all-time Asian player ranking of 11th in 2022, but surpassed Park Ji-sung and Seol Ki-hyun, who did not score any points. 22nd place is the same as Son Heung-min’s ranking in 2019.
Meanwhile, the best soccer player in the world in the 2022-2023 season was Messi. He won the Ballon d’Or. He won the Ballon d’Or once again in 2023, following 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, and 2021, taking one step ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo (5 times), who ranked second in history.
Erling Holland (Manchester City), who achieved the treble last year, was also mentioned as a strong candidate, but the winner was Messi.
Messi has set a new milestone. He was the first player from a non-European team to win the Ballon d’Or. Until now, the Ballon d’Or has gone to players playing in European leagues.
He left PSG last summer and started a new career at Inter Miami, a member of Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States.
It is a result without a twist. Messi was the number one candidate for the Ballon d’Or from the beginning. Even before the awards ceremony, all media outlets predicted that he would win the Ballon d’Or once again.
Messi had a near-perfect year last season. Last season, he recorded 21 goals and 20 assists in all competitions for his team PSG, and also won the assist title in the league with 16 goals and 16 assists. PSG also rose to the top of the league and Tropez des Champeons.
Above all, the 2022 Qatar World Cup was decisive. Messi played full time in all 7 World Cup games, scoring 7 goals and 3 assists. He scored multiple goals in the most important final, giving his country Argentina its first World Cup trophy in 36 years, and also winning the Golden Ball, the MVP of the tournament.