Munich is excited to produce four Ballon d’Or candidates, including Kim Min-jae and Kane… “Congratulations to our players.”

Bayern Munich congratulated its four players, including Kim Min-jae, who were finalists for the Ballon d’Or.메이저놀이터

French football magazine ‘France Football’ revealed the 30 finalists for the 2023 Ballon d’Or on the 7th (Korean time).

Four players from Munich were included in the 30-man list. Minjae Kim, Harry Kane, Jamal Musiala (men’s team) and Georgia Stanway (women’s team).

After the Ballon d’Or candidates were announced, Munich immediately applauded through the club’s social media account, saying, “Congratulations to our players who were selected as Ballon d’Or candidates.”

Kim Min-jae’s former team Italy also paid attention. Italian local newspaper ‘Tuttonapoli’ announced, “Kim Min-jae (who played for Naples) was included in the Ballon d’Or candidates.”

This award, which began in 1956, is given to the soccer player who showed the best performance of the year. The Ballon d’Or is the most prestigious award a soccer player can receive.

Kim Min-jae was the only Asian player to be selected as a candidate.

Kim Min-jae showed a performance worthy of being nominated for the Ballon d’Or.

Kim Min-jae, who transferred from Fenerbahce (Turkiye) to Napoli ahead of the 2022-2023 season, contributed greatly to his former team Napoli’s first Italian Serie A win in 33 years with his unwavering defensive ability.

Kim Min-jae played in 35 Serie A games last season and led Napoli to the fewest goals conceded in the league (28 goals). He has two goals and two assists in the league, along with 1.6 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 3.5 clearances and 0.7 shots blocked per game.

According to the rating website ‘Whoscored.com’, Kim Min-jae, who ‘helped win’, was given an average rating of 7.07 in the league. It is an indicator that he has been active consistently.

Kim Min-jae was honored with the Player of the Month Award by the Serie A Secretariat in September last year and the Player of the Month Award by the Italian Football Players Association in October due to his consistent performance throughout the season.

Kim Min-jae was ‘officially’ recognized for his performance. Last June, Italian Serie A selected Kim Min-jae as the best defender in Serie A for the 2022-2023 season. This was 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. In addition, Kim Min-jae became the first Asian player to receive this award.

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann, the current coach of the Korean national soccer team, also said at the time, “It was a happy and proud scene to see Kim Min-jae lifting the Serie A championship trophy. “He left behind memorable achievements throughout his life.”

Thanks to his performance in Naples, Kim Min-jae signed a five-year contract with Bayern Munich, a prestigious club in Germany, last July. He is playing as a starter in Munich this season.

Kim Min-jae’s inclusion in the Ballon d’Or final candidate list is even more surprising because he is the first Asian ‘defender’.

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.

The final winner of this Ballon d’Or will be revealed along with the Kopa Trophy and Yashin Trophy winners on October 31st.


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