Kim Min-jae beat Son Heung-min to win the Player of the Year award.
The Korea Football Association (KFA) selected Kim Min-jae as the Men’s Player of the Year on Sunday. The men’s player of the year was voted by 50 people including the soccer team leader of Korea Football Association’s entry media, the association’s technology development committee, and the national team’s reinforcement committee, while Kim Min-jae defeated Son Heung-min (113 points) with a total of 137 points.
It is Kim’s first player of the year award. It is also the first time in eight years that a defender has been named the Player of the Year since Kim Young-kwon (Ulsan HD) in 2015. Son has won the award for the past four years in a row and a total of seven awards, making him the highest-ever winner.
Bayern Munich also sent congratulations to Kim. “Congratulations to Kim Min-jae! The Bayern Munich center-back was named the home country’s soccer player of the year on Tuesday morning,” Munich said on its official website.
“The 27-year-old player has scored one goal in 22 games this season,” he said, adding, “Kim Min-jae will participate in the 2023 Qatar Asian Cup with the Korean national team over the next few weeks.”
“It’s been a hectic year. It’s been the most special year of my life. I wonder if I can achieve even more glory while playing soccer in the future. I have to improve further, but I think I had the best season,” Kim said.
“He (Son) helped me a lot in the national team. I won the award after a competition,” he said. “As a defender, I won the award second time after (Kim) Young-kwon. It is meaningful to show that a defender can receive such an award. I hope players at defender positions can have more confidence.” 마카오토토
He also expressed his aspiration to win the Asian Cup. “I love the performance of our strikers. We are scoring goals in every game. I think we will need to show concentrated performance of our defenders as we will lead many matches in the tournament,” Kim said. “I think we will have good results if we make efforts. My goal for the Asian Cup is to win the title.”
Finally, he bowed his head to his fans, saying, “I and all the national team players are cheering up because there are many fans who support me this season as well as last season. As the new year has dawned, I hope all the best for you, and I ask for your generous support for the players.”