South Korean defender Kim Min-jae nominated for Ballon d’Or

South Korean defender Kim Min-jae nominated for Ballon d’OrSouth Korean defender Kim Min-jae nominated for Ballon d’Or
via FC Bayern Munich
Carl Samson
September 7, 2023
South Korean center-back Kim Min-jae has been nominated for a men’s Ballon d’Or.
The only Asian: Kim, who currently plays for FC Bayern Munich, is the lone male Asian athlete nominated for the prestigious award this year. He is also the first-ever defender of Asian descent to make the 30-man shortlist, according to KBS.
About Kim: The 26-year-old athlete previously played for Napoli, helping the club clinch its first Serie A title in more than three decades in May. Subsequently, he was named Serie A’s best defender of the 2022-23 campaign and made the league’s Team of the Season, as per Yonhap News.
Other nominees: France Football, which presents the annual recognition, revealed the 30-man shortlist on Thursday. Lionel Messi, who currently plays for Inter Miami, and Erling Haaland, who is currently with Manchester City, are leading the nominees.
Fellow South Korean footballer: Son Heung-min, who currently captains Tottenham Hotspur, became the highest-ranked Asian player in men’s Ballon d’Or history last year. The 31-year-old athlete also received the Premier League’s Golden Boot, ending the 2021-22 season with a career-high 23 goals.

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