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Munich starting player’... Will a Korean center back like Kim Mi

Surprisingly, the 26-year-old representative player was Kim Min-jae. 'ESPN' said, "Kim Min-jae is in his second season in the Big 5 League. He has achieved better results than Frenkie de Jong and Nicolo Barella, and has the potential to become the world's best center back in the next five years." After Kim Min-jae, Rhodri (27 years old), Joshua Kimmich (28 years old), Bruno Fernandes (29 years old), Harry Kane (30 years old), Mohamed Salah (31 years old), Kevin De Bruyne (32 years old), Kieran Tree Peer (33 years old), Dani Parejo (34 years old), Robert Lewandowski (35 years old), and Lionel Messi (36 years old) were mentioned.

Sports media 'Sport 360' selected the best eleven with players from other continents except Europe. As expected, Minjae Kim was there. Kim Min-jae is Vinicius Junior (Brazil), Victor Osimhen (Nigeria), Salah (Egypt), Messi, Enzo Fernandez (Argentina), Federico Valverde (Uruguay), Alfonso Davis (Canada), Ronald Araujo (Uruguay), The lineup was formed with Ashraf Hakimi (Morocco) and Alisson Becker (Brazil).

Ranked 2nd among center backs in the world. France's '90min' selected the top 10 center backs in the world on October 24th, and included Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool), David Alaba (Real Madrid), Lucas Hernández (Paris Saint-Germain), Araujo (Barcelona), and Gvardiol (Manchester). City), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), and John Stones (Manchester City) were Kim Min-jae. The media said, "Kim Min-jae showed a perfect performance as a center back in Naples. His speed, strength, and strength were overwhelming. He has the ability to overpower attackers in any duel situation and has a wide field of vision. This is a truly great strength. He is currently playing in Korea and “He is the leader of Munich.” First place was Ruben Dias (Manchester City).

He was also included as a candidate for the Ballon d'Or, the most prestigious individual award in soccer. Kim Min-jae became the fourth Korean Leaguer to be nominated for the Ballon d'Or. Following Seol Ki-hyun (2002, Anderlecht), Park Ji-sung (2005, Manchester United), and Son Heung-min (2019, 2022, Tottenham Hootspur). It is a feat achieved just two years after challenging the European stage by joining Fenerbahçe in 2021. It was also very meaningful in that he was the first Asian defender to do so.

It was great that a defender, regardless of whether he was Korean or Asian, was nominated. The Ballon d'Or is based on performance, from the selection of candidates to the winners, and it is inevitable that the focus will be on those who score a lot of goals or are in positions that are widely visible to the public. Defenders receive relatively less attention. This is especially true for center backs. Nevertheless, Kim Min-jae was proudly included as a candidate. This proves how great Kim Min-jae played for Naples and the Korean national team.

Kim Min-jae's final ranking was 22nd. He was first among centre-backs. Gvardiol was ranked 25th and Dias was ranked 30th. Randal Colo Muani, Martin Odegaard, Nicolo Barella, Jamal Musiala, Saka and Andre Onana were under Kim Min-jae. Also, earning Ballon d'Or points as a center back is meaningful in itself. The only Asian players to score points in the 30-man Ballon d'Or finalist list were Son Heung-min in 2019 and 2022, and Iraq's Younis Mahmoud in 2007.
He also received the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) International Player Award. AFC held the 2022 AFC Awards in Doha, Qatar on October 31. At this event, Kim Min-jae won the AFC International Player Award, given to the player who performed the best overseas. AFC praised Kim Min-jae's performance, saying, "Kim Min-jae finished a special season by leading SSC Napoli to their first Italian Serie A title since 1990. Kim Min-jae's stock price soared in 2021 when he transferred from Beijing Guoan to Turkye Fenerbahce in the Chinese Super League." illuminated.

We also did not forget Kim Min-jae's performance as a member of the Korean national team. "Kim Min-jae played an important role in advancing the Taegeuk Warriors to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and advancing to the World Cup finals for the 10th consecutive time. Korea advanced to the round of 16 with a 2-1 comeback win over Portugal. Kim Min-jae “I played in 3 out of 4 games,” he said.

Lastly, he added, "Kim Min-jae has since confirmed his transfer to German Bundesliga giant Bayern Munich. He was the only Asian player on the list of candidates for the 2023 Men's Ballon d'Or award." This is the second time that a Korean player received the AFC International Player of the Year award. Prior to Kim Min-jae, Son Heung-min won the award in 2015, 2017, and 2019. Minjae Kim was honored with his first award in his life, winning the competition against Mehdi Taremi (Iran) and Kaoru Mitoma (Japan).

I wonder if a player like this will appear again in the future. Aside from Korean soccer history, he is the only Asian player to have left such a mark as a center back and been recognized as an international player. Minjae Kim was born in 1996 and has now entered his prime. He doesn't know to what level he will rise. Kim Min-jae has performed well in Europe, and perspectives on defense in Korea and Asia have also changed. Just as Ji-Sung Park played in the Premier League (PL) and showed the competitiveness that Asians can play on the best stage in Europe, it can be said that Min-Jae Kim can play a pioneering role.
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Thursday, November 2, 2023
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