After missing the final game of the 2022-2023 Serie A season, Kim Min-jae (26-Napoli) was presented with the Serie A Best Defender trophy before the game. After the game, he performed Napoli’s victory ceremony and said goodbye to the fans.
Napoli won 2-0 at home against Sampdoria in the final 38th round of the 2022-2023 Italian Serie A season at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in Naples, Italy, on Friday (June 5). Napoli took the lead on a penalty kick (PK) by Osimhen in the 19th minute of the second half before Giovanni Simeone added a late goal in the 40th minute to seal the victory. Napoli, who won their first Serie A title in 33 years, finished the season with a final record of 28 wins, 6 draws and 4 losses (90 points).
Kim Min-jae received a one-match suspension for his fifth league caution of the season in the previous match against Bologna. He missed the game and supported his teammates from the bench.
Before the game, the Serie A best defender award ceremony was held. As Kim took the podium, the fans chanted ‘KIM KIM KIM’. Kim also shared his joy by applauding the home fans. He then took a commemorative photo with the trophy. Victor Osimhen, who was named Best Striker, and Luciano Spalletti, who was named Best Manager, also participated in the award ceremony and lifted the trophy. Serie A’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), Hvitsa Kravacshelia, was also present.
On March 3, the Serie A secretariat announced the best players of the 2022-2023 season in the categories of goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, and striker. Among them, Kim Min-jae was named Best Defender. He was nominated alongside teammate Giovanni Di Lorenzo and AC Milan’s Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), but the honor of best defender went to Kim. In doing so, Kim became the first Asian player to win the award since its inception in the 2018-2019 season.
In addition to being named Best Defender, Kim was also named to the Serie A Team of the Year for the 2022-2023 season. Teammates Osimhen and Kravacshelia were also named to the team as frontline striker and flanker, respectively.
Kim was presented with the winner’s medal at the end of the game and joined in the victory ceremony. The Napoli players took turns carrying the trophy around the stadium to say “goodbye” to the fans for the season.
Accolades are pouring in for Kim Min-jae after his season. Italy’s Corriere dello Sport wrote, “Kim Min-jae made a huge impact in his first season in Serie A. He impressed and won the best defender award. He impressed and won the best defender award.”
Kim joined Napoli from Fenerbahce just before the season, making his debut in Serie A. From the first game of the league, he was in the starting lineup and continued his ‘monster’ performances in every game. In September of last year, he was named Serie A’s Player of the Month, a rare honor for a defender, and in October, he was named the Italian Footballers’ Association’s Player of the Month. Napoli won the Scudetto for the first time in 33 years behind Kim’s solid defense.
Kim’s performance is reflected in several defensive metrics. In 35 league games, he had a 91% passing accuracy rate, 122 interceptions, 55 tackles, and 41 interceptions, making him one of the best defenders in the league. He also contributed two goals and two assists while getting involved in the offense from set pieces and counterattacks.먹튀검증
After leading Napoli to the title this season, Kim will likely leave the club next season. Big clubs in the English Premier League (EPL), including Manchester United, Manchester City, and Newcastle, are reportedly targeting Kim in the summer transfer market. In particular, United have already held transfer talks with Kim and are in the process of finalizing the details, according to local British media.