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‘Korean Monster’ Kim Min-jae is nominated for AFC International

Kim Min-jae was named as a candidate for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) International Player of the Year.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) revealed the candidates for each category for the 2022 AFC Awards on the 13th (local time). Kim Min-jae, who plays for Bayern Munich in the German Bundesliga, was nominated for the International Player of the Year award.

The International Player of the Year Award is given to an Asian player playing overseas, not in Asia. Along with Minjae Kim, Kaoru Mitoma, who plays for Brighton & Hove Albion, and Mehdi Taremi, who plays for FC Porto, were selected as candidates.

So far, Minjae Kim has the highest chance of winning. Kim Min-jae moved to Napoli, Italy last season after leading the team to the league runner-up at Turkye Fenerbahce. Kim Min-jae became a starting player as soon as he put on the Naples uniform.

Even though he played on a higher level stage, his potential really exploded. Kim Min-jae contributed greatly to the team winning the top spot in Serie A for the first time in 33 years. After the season, he was named Serie A Best Defender and Serie A Team of the Year.

It was the best year of his career. Naturally, several big clubs were targeting him. The team that got Kim Min-jae was Bayern Munich. Munich needed reinforcements in defense with Lucas Hernández heading to Paris Saint-Germain.

Munich wanted a top European defender and recruited Kim Min-jae. From the beginning of his transfer, Kim Min-jae has been playing an active role in taking up the starting position. Based on his performance, Kim Min-jae became the first Asian player to be nominated for the Ballon d'Or in the top 30.

Kaoru Mitoma and Mehdi Taremi, who are competing for the award, also had decent seasons, but they feel somewhat lacking compared to Minjae Kim. Mitoma recorded 10 goals and 8 assists in 41 games last season. Taremi scored 31 goals and 14 assists in 51 games last season. Among the candidates, Kim Min-jae's individual and team performance stand out the most.

Son Heung-min has received the AFC International Player of the Year award four times in the past. Son Heung-min has won the award in 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020.

Meanwhile, Gangwon FC Lee Seung-won, who won the Bronze Ball at this year's FIFA Under-20 World Cup, was nominated in the promising player category. Kim Eun-jung, coach of the U-17 women's national soccer team, was included in the nominations for the Women's Coach of the Year category.
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Monday, October 23, 2023

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