Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton Wanderers) and Kim Min-jae (Napoli) are the three Korean soccer players included in the Men’s AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Team of the Year 2022 by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).
The IFFHS on Jan. 15 released its list of the best 11 players by continent based on last year’s performance. Son was named left winger on the all-star team and Hwang left midfielder in the team’s 3-4-3 formation, while Kim was right back among the three defenders.
Last season, Son made history as the first Asian to win the Golden Boot in the English Premier League with 23 goals. As captain of the national team, he also led Korea to the round of 16 of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Hwang scored the dramatic winner as Korea rallied to upset Portugal, 2-1, in their final Group H game in the World Cup.
Kim has established himself as the best defender in Italy’s Serie A after joining Napoli last year. He was named player of the month in September last year by the Italian league and in October by AIC (Italian Footballers’ Association).
By nationality, Korea had the second-most players on the list with three. Japan led with four: Daichi Kamada (Frankfurt) at central midfielder, Takumi Minamino (Monaco) side midfielder, Maya Yoshida (Schalke 04) center back and Shuichi Gonda (Shimizu) goalkeeper.
Iranian striker Mehdi Taremi (FC Porto), Saudi Arabian striker Salem Al-Dawsari and midfielder Salman Al-Faraj (Al-Hilal), and Australian defender Aziz Behich (Dundee United) were also among Asia’s top 11 on the IFFHS list.