‘Monster’ who became ‘king of defense’ in ‘home of defense’, Kim Min-jae won the Serie A Best Defense Award for the first time ‘Splendid Achievement’
Kim Min-jae (Napoli) won the best defense award and created two new history in Italian football.
The Serie A Secretariat announced the winner of the Serie A Best Defender Award for the 2022-2023 season through its official social media account on the 2nd (hereinafter Korean time).안전놀이터
‘Monster Defender’ Kim Min-jae was selected as the grand prize winner, beating out two competitors.
‘Monster’ Kim Min-jae (Naples) became the ‘King of Defense’ in Italy, the ‘home of defense’.
The Italian Serie A Secretariat announced the winners of the ‘2022-2023 season Serie A Best Defender Award’ on the official channel on the 2nd (Korean time). The main character of glory was Kim Min-jae. Kim Min-jae was honored with the award, beating ‘teammate’ Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli) and AC Milan’s first-class fullback Theo Hernandez. Kim Min-jae is the first Asian player to win the Serie A Best Defender Award, which was first established in the 2018-2019 season. It is also the first time in history that a member of the winning team has won. Kim Min-jae is likely to be selected as the best team, and has two crowns in front of his eyes. The Serie A secretariat said, ‘It was the best debut season. Congratulations,” he said, “Kim Min-jae will be included in the team of the year that will be announced soon.”
Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti won the best coach award, Nicolo Pazzoli (Juventus) won the best U-23 player award, and Ivan Provedel (Lazio) won the best goalkeeper award. Inter Milan’s Nicolo Barella was named the best midfielder. Now, the remaining divisions are the best offensive player and overall MVP.
Kim Min-jae has undoubtedly performed his best this season. Kim Min-jae wore the Napoli uniform last summer. After passing through Jeonbuk Hyundai and Beijing Guoan and transferring to Turkiye’s prestigious Fenerbahce in 2021, Kim Min-jae, who finally entered Europe, performed his best without adapting. He quickly became the best defender of Fenerbahce and the best defender of the Turkiye Super League. The very next year, he received a love call from the big leagues. Napoli, which sent ‘Legend’ Kalidou Koulibaly to Chelsea, were active. Kim Min-jae, who had been receiving a love call from Stard Ren, was recruited in a move close to hijacking. He was brought in by paying his buyout of 20 million euros. However, the center back from the East was full of doubts.
This choice turned out to be the best move in the end. Kim Min-jae, who started as an unfamiliar left center back, played a big role from the beginning of the season and quickly rose to the center. In September of last year, Kim Min-jae was selected as the Serie A Player of the Month. Kim Min-jae was the first Asian national player to be selected as the Serie A Player of the Month, which was awarded from the 2019-2020 season. In October, he was honored with the Italian Football Players Association’s Player of the Month award. He left a strong impression from the beginning and earned the nickname ‘Iron Pillar’.
Amid Kim Min-jae’s great success, Napoli won the thrilling league championship trophy after 33 years. It is the third time Napoli has won the championship since the 1986-1987 season and the 1989-1990 season when the ‘legend’ Diego Maradona was active. At the center was Kim Min-jae. Kim Min-jae was the first Korean to win the Scudetto. Kim Min-jae took the starting position from the first year of his entry, followed by a fantastic performance and led to the championship. Kim Min-jae has already become a hero in Naples. ‘Kim, Kim, Kim’ has become a common ‘buzzword’ in Naples. Based on the five European leagues, it is the third time that a Korean has won the championship trophy, after Park Ji-sung of Manchester United and Jung Woo-young of Bayern Munich. It is the first win as a defender. It is also the first time since AS Roma’s Hidetoshi Nakata in the 2000-2001 season that an Asian player won the Serie A title.
Records tell us about Kim Min-jae’s performance. He played in 35 league games this season and hit the ground for 3054 minutes. Kim Min-jae, who recorded 2 goals and 2 assists, recorded 1.6 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 3.5 clearances, and 0.7 shooting blocks per game. All are top notch in the league. He had a tremendous performance not only on defense, but also on the build-in side. No other player in Serie A this season has made more passes than Minjae Kim. He was first in passes per game (75.1). WhoScored.com gave Kim Min-jae a league average rating of 7.07. He is by far the best among Serie A center backs and was named in the season’s best 11 by Whoscored.com. Based on the foot mob, he was ranked 10th overall and 1st among centre-backs with a season rating of 7.43.
A relay of praise from legends such as Fabio Cannavaro and Alessandro Costacurta continued towards Kim Min-jae, who achieved amazing results with aggressive defense in an aggressive Spalletti style. He performed fantastically, to the point of being debated as the world’s best centre-back beyond Italy. He is to the point of being mentioned in Napoli’s all-time best 11. Of course, there are opposing opinions about Kim Min-jae’s monthly theory, but in Europe, at least, there seems to be no disagreement about his performance this season. Kim Min-jae is regarded as the best center back in the world this season along with Ronald Arnaho, Eder Militang, Ruben Dias, and John Stones. He was also selected as the only center back in the team of the month selected by ESM (European Sports Media) with high public confidence four times. He is also likely to be selected for Team of the Year.
Kim Min-jae ranked first in the ratings among Serie A defenders this season, and his personal ransom value rose sharply. Transfermarkt, which specializes in the market value of soccer players, sets the transfer fee for Kim Min-jae at 50 million euros (approximately 73.1 billion won). This is a figure that has doubled from 25 million euros in September last year, at the beginning of the season. In October 2021, when he was playing in Turkey, it was 6.5 million euros. He is second only to Son Heung-min (Tottenham), the ‘Asia No. 1’ who boasts 60 million euros.
In the end, Kim Min-jae wrote a new history. He passed Di Lorenzo and Hernandez to establish himself as the best defender. Di Lorenzo and Hernandez also performed at the highest level in the league, but it is true that they did not reach the level of contribution of Kim Min-jae. The only concern was that there was no precedent for a winning team to win the award. It was true that there was an uneasy feeling because of this, but his perfect performance overcame even the jinx. The fact that a Korean player has been recognized as the best defender in Serie A, which is considered the best in terms of defense, is a ‘historic event’ as Son Heung-min won the English Premier League top scorer last season.
Based on his performance this season, Kim Min-jae is being courted by a big club. Manchester United are the most active, with Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Newcastle, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain wanting them. Kim Min-jae, whose buyout is temporarily in effect this summer, is likely to leave Naples this summer. Due to Kim Min-jae’s amazing performance, Forbes called ‘Kim Min-jae this summer’s bargain sale’. Now that he has established himself as the best defender in Serie A, the courtship of big clubs is expected to intensify. Kim Min-jae is scheduled to return to Korea on the 6th, and will begin military training from the 15th. After the training is over, the team to be transferred is expected to reveal its full-fledged outline.
Now is the age of Kim Min-jae.