Kim Min-jae and Won Soo-jin on German media’s lowest rating to being left out of Lazio squad

Now he’s making a non-selection argument that doesn’t make sense.

German soccer publication Kicker is covering Bayern Munich’s 2023-24 UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg on June 6 and has predicted its starting lineup.

Kim Min-jae’s name is missing from the final defense. Instead of the perennial starter, the kicker recommended Eric Dier and Matthias der Licht. Kicker’s attitude towards Kim Min-jae is consistent. Kicker had previously said, “Kim Min-jae played poorly in the 24th round of the German Bundesliga against Freiburg. He is not a player that guarantees safety. Dyer and Der Licht should be the solution going forward,” Kicker said.

Kicker is the leading German media outlet that has been hammering Kim Min-jae this season. They are harsh on him regardless of his performance. Even in the most recent match against VFL Bochum, where Kim showed the most stability, the kicker gave him the exact opposite rating in round 22.

Against Bochum, Kim was playing for Bayern Munich, a team that was losing its absolute dominance. In the midst of a three-goal defeat, Kim single-handedly put in a stellar defensive performance to secure the back door. His stats at the time showed a staggering 101 touches, 88% passing success rate (77/88), two key passes, and a successful long ball pass (6/7). His defensive stats were equally impressive, with one clearance, three shot blocks, two interceptions, four tackles, successful contested passes (4/6), and winning possession (6/9).

Sports stats site Couch Score gave Kim a 7.5 rating. This rating, which is not easy to come by on a losing team, puts him first among Bayern Munich defenders. This is second only to Jamal Musalla (8.7), who scored goals across all positions. Another stats-based outlet, Footmob, gave him a 7.4 rating.

Kim Min-jae continued to defend alone as he did in the first half, but the opposite was true for the kicker. I gave him a 4.5, the lowest score of the defense. It’s hard to believe that the media is so harsh, but it’s hard to accept.

The same was true last weekend in Freiburg. Kim Min-jae teamed up with Dyer in a 2-2 draw that didn’t go down well, but the ratings were still respectable. According to, Kim attempted 93 passes, the most in the team, with a success rate of 94%. He also completed all three of his long passes to the front.

The defense was also good. His two interceptions and six passes deflected showed that he was up to the task. As a result, gave him a 7.19 rating, making him the fourth best defensive player on the team. Footmob also gave him a 7.2 rating for his defense.

Unsurprisingly, the kicker had the lowest rating. It’s not just the recent past that has led to dismissal of Kim Min-jae’s defensive moves and record. Even in the first half of the season, the kicker ratings didn’t accurately reflect the iron-clad defense that Kim played in spite of his near-exhaustive workload. In December of last year, a position-by-position rating and ranking for the first half of the season controversially placed Kim as the 11th best center back in the Bundesliga.

At the time of Kicker’s rankings, Kim was the highest-ranked defender in the French Football Ballon d’Or, and the UK’s The Guardian included him in its list of the 100 best men’s soccer players in the world in 2023. Nevertheless, Kicker was criticized for categorizing Kim as an international-level player rather than world-class.

And now he’s going one better. He came out with the decision to leave Kim Min-Jae out of the starting lineup against Lazio. This is the most important game of the season for Bayern Munich. They need to stay alive in the Champions League if they want to escape the drop. At the moment, the Bavarians are in the shadow of the relegation zone. After starting the season with the German Football League (DFL) Super Cup, the Bavarians failed to win a trophy after an unexpected loss to RB Leipzig, and they were eliminated early from the Pokal. Even in the Pokal, they were upset by third division side Saarbrücken.

In the Bundesliga, where they are seeking a 12th consecutive title, they are 10 points behind leaders Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Given Leverkusen’s unbeaten run through the 24th round, an upset is virtually impossible. All that’s left is to rebound in the Champions League. However, having lost 0-1 to Lazio in the first leg, they must win the second leg at home by at least two goals to reach the quarterfinals.

Therefore, Bayern Munich will need to be as reliable in defense as they are in attack. Even if the away goals rule is gone, conceding a goal against Lazio will put even more pressure on the offense. Using Kim Min-Jae to secure the back line should be a priority.

Kim Min-jae was equally impressive in the first leg against Lazio, completing 98% of his passes, winning four ball contests, two interceptions, and recovering eight possessions. He was often the first to read and intercept a pass intended for Lazio striker Ciro Immobile.

Kicker, however, was busy pinching Kim Min-jae, and his name was quickly erased from the predicted starting lineup. Unlike Kicker, UEFA had predicted Kim’s start on its official website. The stats-based Fú also listed Kim and Der Licht in the starting lineup, leaving the kicker alone in the cold.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *