South Korean Footballer of the Year 2023 has been awarded to Bayern Munich’s standout defender, Kim Min-jae, as declared by the national federation KFA on Tuesday.
After aiding Napoli in clinching the Scudetto for the first time in 33 years, Kim Min-jae secured a €50 million move to Bayern in the summer of 2023. He also earned recognition as the best defender in the Italian top flight for the 2022-23 season.
How tall is Kim Min Jae footballer?
Standing at a height of 1.90 meters, Kim showcased his prowess in heading during his time at Napoli. In the recent Serie A season, he demonstrated his aerial dominance by securing victory in 92 aerial duels.- Advertisement -
Bayern Munich Defender Ends Son Heung-min’s Dominance
In the current 2023-24 season, Kim Min-jae has emerged as a crucial figure for Thomas Tuchel’s Bayern, making appearances in 22 matches across various competitions. During this period, he scored one goal and received two yellow cards.
Kim Min-jae secured the South Korean Footballer of the Year award (2023), surpassing competition from Tottenham and Premier League standout Son Heung-min. Notably, Son Heung-min, with a remarkable seven awards, had a four-year consecutive winning streak at the accolade.
Looking ahead, Kim Min-jae aims to maintain his impressive performance, contributing to Bayern’s pursuit of their 12th consecutive triumph since 2013. Additionally, Bayern has successfully qualified for the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League 2023-24 and is set to face Lazio in the round of 16.
Asian Cup Call-Up for Bayern’s Kim Min-jae
Kim Min-jae, the central defender for Bayern, has earned a spot in South Korea’s squad for the imminent AFC Asian Cup 2023. Set to unfold in Qatar from January 12 to February 10, Kim will contribute to the South Korean national team during this period.
South Korea enters the tournament as one of the frontrunners for clinching the trophy. Their most recent appearance in the AFC Asian Cup final was in 2015, where they faced Australia but were unfortunate in losing the final match.
Prior to his stint with Napoli, Kim Min-jae had a notable career trajectory, featuring for clubs like Fenerbahce, Beijing Guoan, and Jeonbuk Motors. His diverse experience across these football clubs contributed to shaping his skills and capabilities.
On the international stage, Kim Min-jae has been a consistent presence for the South Korean national team, accumulating 55 caps and scoring 4 goals. His contributions both at the club and international levels underscore his prowess as a seasoned and accomplished defender in the world of football.
Kim Min-jae’s Football Odyssey
Kim Min-jae’s football journey has been marked by significant achievements and contributions to various clubs:
Kim made a move to Fenerbahçe on 16 August 2021 for €3 million, signing a 4-year contract after transferring from Beijing Guoan in the Chinese League. In his debut match against Antalyaspor on 22 August, he excelled in winning unclaimed balls and tackles, marking a strong start. His European debut in the UEFA Europa League against Eintracht Frankfurt on 16 September showcased his skills.
Despite receiving his first red card in the Süper Lig against Trabzonspor on 17 October, Kim rebounded and played a pivotal role in Fenerbahçe’s 2–1 victory in the Intercontinental Derby on 21 November, earning the title of man of the match with 76.3 percent of fan votes. Scoring his first goal for Fenerbahçe against Konyaspor on 20 March 2022 and being selected for the Süper Lig Team of the Season by CIES, FIFA 22, and Opta Sports capped off a successful season.
His journey continued as he joined Serie A club Napoli on 27 July 2022 for a reported fee of €18 million, filling the void left by Kalidou Koulibaly. Kim made an immediate impact, scoring his first goal for Napoli in stoppage time during a 4–0 victory over Monza on 21 August. His outstanding performance led to him being named Serie A Player of the Month for September 2022. Playing a crucial role in Napoli’s triumph in the 2022–23 season, securing their first Serie A title in nearly three decades, Kim was recognized as the Serie A Best Defender of the season.
Bayern Munich, the Bundesliga giants, secured Kim’s services on 18 July 2023, signing him until 30 June 2028. The transfer fee of €58 million made him the most expensive Asian footballer in history, surpassing Shoya Nakajima’s previous record. Kim quickly made an impact at Bayern, scoring his first goal with a header and maintaining a clean sheet in a 3–0 victory over VfB Stuttgart on 17 December.