Ballon d’Or nominee Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich) has been rated a ‘Kaiser’ for the third consecutive season.
Bayern Munich defeated Mainz 3-1 in the eighth round of the 2023-2024 German Bundesliga at the MEWA Arena in Mainz, Germany on Sunday (Sept. 22). The Bavarians, unbeaten in eight games, are in third place with 20 points (6 W, 2 D).
The “Korean Derby”토토사이트 between Kim Min-jae and Lee Jae-sung took place. Both players, who are part of the Korean national team, started side by side and went head-to-head. Kim Min-jae played the full game, while Lee Jae-sung came off the bench in the 18th minute of the second half to finish the job.
The match was dominated by Munich. Kingsley Coman opened the scoring in the 11th minute and Harry Kane doubled the lead five minutes later. They pulled a goal back in the 43rd minute through Anthony Martial, but Leon Goretzka scored 14 minutes into the second half to seal the win.
The offense was strong with three goals, but the defense, led by Kim Min-jae, was equally impressive. As expected, Thomas Tuchel opted for a central defense with the duo of Kim Min-jae and Matthias der Licht, a combination we haven’t seen before, and with der Licht only just returning from injury, there were some concerns, but they were unfounded.
Kim Min-jae also played a near-perfect game against the odds.
Kim has started 14 consecutive games for both Bayern Munich and the South Korean national team and hasn’t faltered. With the exception of a substitute appearance in the DFL-Supercup against Leipzig in August, Kim has started every game for the Bavarians, making it eight consecutive full-time appearances for the club.
From the outset, Kim defended like a man possessed, rising above his fellow midfielders to break up passes and dominate aerial balls with his superior delivery. Not to mention his clean tackling and strong physicality on the ball.
It was a wall. In the 30th minute of the second half, Kim Min-jae showed off his tremendous strength by taking down opposing striker Bryan Gruda on the left flank with his body. It was a legitimate shoulder strike, but it sent Gruda bouncing off the sideline and rolling for a few laps.
The icing on the cake was the 36th minute roar. In the box, Minjae did well to block a sharp ground ball cross from Ludovic Azork, who then pumped his fists in the air, roared loudly, hugged Der Licht and beamed with joy.
Once again, Bavarian Football named Kim “Kaiser”. This is the third consecutive game that he has been named Kaiser.
Bavarian Football said: “Minjae has been quietly putting in solid performances. This game was no exception. Thanks to his tremendous strength and speed, he has earned the nickname ‘Monster’ in Bayern.”
Bavarian Football continued, “While fully utilizing his physical abilities, Kim also shined with his passing skills. 100 pass attempts and 100 successful passes. That’s a 100% success rate. It was a very clean performance from the Bavarian monster.”
This season, Kim has played an almost unbearable amount of games. He has played 45 games for Napoli alone. He even played at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar with a nagging injury. He played in two group stage matches and three round of 16 matches.
Even before his move to Bayern Munich ahead of this season, Kim didn’t get much rest. Kim spent three weeks in Nonsan Army Training Center for basic military training. His workout program and diet were interrupted, and he lost four kilograms of weight during the training period.
He was still selected for the South Korean national team during the A-Match in October and played against Tunisia and Vietnam. It’s a schedule that would have knocked most players out, but far from being exhausted, Kim is in near-perfect shape.
In particular, Kim had a 100 percent pass completion rate and reliably led the buildup from the back.
According to soccer stats site Footmob, he attempted 102 passes in 90 minutes, completing all of them, including three long passes to teammates. He also made one interception, three clearances, two interceptions, five recoveries, and won 100% of his aerial battles (2/2) for a rating of 7.3.
Notably, Kim became the first Asian defender to be nominated for the Ballon d’Or. While the results are yet to come, the soccer media’s predictions are high.
He is also on the shortlist for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) International Player of the Year. The International Player of the Year award recognizes Asian players who play outside of Asia. It’s a no-brainer for an Asian player to be nominated as a starter for one of Europe’s top teams.
Kim Min-jae was also named the best player in his age group. According to ESPN, Kim was recognized as the most outstanding player under the age of 26.
“Both Frankie Douglas and Nicolo Varela are modern central midfielders who thrive on offensive duties,” ESPN said. Both are more of a supportive role than a game-changer.”
“Kim Min-jae is in his second season in Europe’s top five leagues. It may be overestimating his performance at Napoli last season. However, we chose the possibility that he could become one of the best central defenders in the world within the next five years.”
Meanwhile, Kim Min-jae is set to play his third UEFA Champions League Group A match on Nov. 25 (KST).