Kim Min-jae of FC Bayern Munich has been shortlisted for Ballon d'Or 2023.
French news magazine France Football, which presents the annual prestigious award, announced the 30-man shortlist on Thursday, including Kim, making him the first-ever defender of Asian descent to make the cut.
Kim is the fourth South Korean footballer to have won candidacy, after Seol Ki-hyeon, then-winger for Belgian club RSC Anderlecht in 2002, Park Ji-sung, then-midfielder for Premier League's Manchester United in 2005, and Hotspur forward Son Heung-min in 2019 and in 2022.
In 2022, Son made it to No. 11 after scoring career-high 23 goals, which also earned him the Premier League Golden Boot.
Kim had an impressive 2022-2023 season with Italian club Napoli, where he was credited for playing a pivotal role in the club's first Serie A championship in 33 years. Ahead of this season, the South Korean signed a reported 50-million-euro-contract with the German club, record high for an Asian player.
The winner of Ballon d'Or 2023 will be announced on October 30.