“Monster defender” Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich) won the 2023 Korea Football Association (KFA) Player of the Year Award, which means a lot to the player himself and the whole defender.

At the 2023 Korea Football Association Awards held at the Mayfield Hotel in Seoul on the 2nd, Kim Min-jae was named the male player of the year for the first time in his life. He ranked first with a total of 137 points in a vote of 50 people, including the soccer team leader of the association’s media companies, the association’s technological development committee, and the national team’s reinforcement committee. He beat out Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) who scored 113 points. The third place was Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), a genius midfielder who scored 84 points.

Kim Min-jae, who finished second to Son for the second consecutive year in 2021 and 2022, was honored as player of the year for the first time. Son Heung-min, the fourth consecutive winner and most (seven times) winner, missed out on player of the year for the first time in five years since 2018.

The ranking was expected to some extent. Kim enjoyed the best moment of his career by leading Napoli to win the Serie A title for the first time in 33 years in the 2022-2023 season. He was selected as the Defensive Player of the Year by Serie A, which is famous for its “home of defenders.” Kim Min-jae, who became the target of a big club after one season, eventually moved to Bayern Munich, a famous European player, where he offered a buyout amount, and immediately took the lead.

Kim Min-jae ranked 22nd in the world’s most prestigious Ballon d’Or ranking in 2023 and won the Asian Football Confederation’s International Award of the Year. All of this happened in 2023. He left a stronger impact than anyone else without scoring as much as Son Heung-min and showing as much technique as Lee Kang-in. The reason why Kim Min-jae was selected as the “best player” through voting.

“It was the best season in a year that passed so wildly. While playing soccer, I wonder if I will be able to achieve even more glory. I will not stop here and think about whether I can reproduce the performance I showed last year and continue to improve,” Kim said. “He helped me a lot,” he said, not forgetting his gratitude to national team captain Son Heung-min. 헤라카지노도메인

It is the first time in eight years that a defender has won the KFA Player of the Year award since Kim Young-kwon (then Guangzhou Hengda, Ulsan) in 2015. Kim Min-jae inherited the line of senior defenders such as Kim Ho (winning in 1969), Kim Ho-gon (winning in 1975) and Jeong Yong-hwan (winning in 1988) in the men’s soccer player category of the KFA Player of the Year award, which was virtually abolished in 1991 and revived in 2010.

Before and after winning Kim Young-kwon in 2015, midfielders and strikers such as Park Ji-sung (2010 wins), Ki Sung-yueng (2011, 2012, 2016 wins), Son Heung-min (2013, 2014, 2017, 2020, 2021, 2022), and Hwang Ui-jo (2018 wins) swept the Player of the Year award.

Kim Min-jae said, “Defenders have shown that they can also receive such awards. I hope (defenders) will play with confidence.”

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