Kim Min-jae won the KFA Player of the Year Award for the first time.
‘Monster defender’ Kim Min-jae (28, Bayern Munich) was selected as the Korea Football Association (KFA) Player of the Year for the first time in his life. Cheon Garam (22? Hwacheon KSPO) won the women’s player of the year.
Kim Min-jae was selected as the Korean male soccer player who showed the most outstanding performance for the national team and his team during the year at the ‘2023 KFA Awards’ held at the Grand Ballroom of the Mayfield Hotel in Gangseo-gu, Seoul on the 2nd.
The player of the year was selected by a vote of 50 people, including the soccer team leader from KFA media outlets, the association’s technology development committee member, and the national team power enhancement committee member. As a result, Kim Min-jae earned a total of 137 points and took first place, beating Son Heung-min (Tottenham, 113 points), who was aiming to win the award for the fifth time in a row. Third place is Lee Kang-in (23, Paris Saint-Germain), who scored 84 points.
Minjae Kim played a leading role in winning the Serie A with SC Napoli (Italy) in the first half of 2023. Afterwards, he moved to Bayern Munich, the best team in the German Bundesliga, and boasts a strong defense.
He also had his best year with the national team, appearing in eight A matches in 2023 and leading the way by keeping scoreless in six consecutive games. It has been eight years since Kim Young-kwon (Ulsan) in 2015 that a defender was selected as Player of the Year.
Kim Min-jae, who attended the awards ceremony that day, said, “I am honored to receive a good award once again,” and added, “I am grateful to the fans for supporting me day and night. “The players will prepare well for the upcoming Asian Cup, so I hope you will give them a lot of support,” he said.
The Women’s Player of the Year was decided by votes from WK League coaches, women’s national team coaching staff, and full-time women’s coaches of the Korea Football Association. After a close battle, Garam Cheon became the protagonist with a total score of 20 points, beating Ji So-yeon (33? Suwon FC), the highest winner of all time, by one point.
Garam Cheon played an active part in last year’s Women’s World Cup and Hangzhou Asian Games, scoring 4 goals in 12 A matches, emerging as the national team’s new ace. In the WK League, he also played a key role in helping his team Hwacheon KSPO rise to second place in the regular league, the team’s highest ever record.
Garam Cheon said, “I don’t think this achievement is achieved alone,” and added, “The value and charm of soccer is that we shine together. “I will not lose its meaning,” he said.
He continued, “I think it is the result of the hard work we planted in 2023. We will continue to harvest more of what we have planted. “Please watch over me,” he said firmly.
The Young Player Award, given to promising men and women, was given to Hwang Jae-won (22, Daegu FC), who played the leading role in the Hangzhou Asian Games gold medal, and Casey Eugene Pair (17, independent), who became the youngest player in Women’s World Cup history and is positioned as the future of the national team.
Jaewon Hwang said, “I am grateful to receive the award in such an honorable place,” and added, “I will become a player who works harder in the future.”
Casey Eugene Fair said, “I am so happy to receive this honorable award,” and added, “I am proud to be able to represent Korea. I am grateful to the Korea Football Association for giving me the opportunity. “I will work hard to achieve good results in 2024,” he said.
The Leader of the Year Award went to coach Kim Ki-dong (current FC Seoul coach), who led Pohang Steelers to the FA Cup championship and K-League runner-up, and coach Kim Eun-sook, who led Incheon Hyundai Steel to WK League victory for 11 consecutive years. 19가이드03