13 - Ji-Sung Park Profile

On his arrival at Manchester United in July 2004, Ji-Sung Park became the first ever South Korean player to play in the Premiership.

A ?4 million signing from Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, Park was initially denied a work permit but his appeal was successful and he made the move to Old Trafford in time for the 2004-2005 pre-season.

Starting his career at Japanese J-League side Kyoto Purple Sanga in 2000, he was initially used as a defensive midfielder but was converted to a winger by South Korean national team boss Guus Hiddink.

His energetic style of play and good work ethic won a host of admirers as he played an important role in South Korea's fourth-place finish at the 2002 World Cup. During the tournament, which the Koreans co-hosted with Japan, Park started in every game and scored the winning goal in the 1-0 win over Portugal in the group stage.

After the World Cup, Hiddink returned to Holland to takeover as boss of PSV Eindhoven and a year later brought Park with him. After a difficult start at the club, he went on to became a popular player at the Dutch side and scored the first goal in the club's 3-1 first-leg victory over AC Milan in the Champions League.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been keeping a close eye on Park's performances towards the end of the 2004-2005 season and during the following pre-season had a bid accepted for the winger.

After overcoming the work-permit problems, Park made his debut for the club as a second-half substitute in the 3-0 Champions League qualifier win over Debreceni VSC. He then started in United's opening day 2-0 victory over Everton at Goodison Park and was a regular in the side through the season.

One criticism of Park's play is his lack of composure infront of goal. He finally found the net for United for the first time in the 3-1 win over Birmingham in the League Cup but his next goal would prove more important, the second in a 2-0 win over rivals Arsenal at Old Trafford in April.

His first season with the club resulted in a Carling Cup winners medal and he was again called up to South Korea's World Cup squad for Germany 2006. Despite being one of his country's most impressive performers, scoring as they drew 1-1 with eventual finalists France, he couldn't stop them from going out in the group stages.

So far this season Park's appearances have been limited, both by injury and the impressive form of Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs on either flank, but he is expected to play a vital role as Ferguson looks to keep his squad fresh in the run-in for the title.

Related Ji-Sung Park News

  • Park could leave by 2013

    Park Ji-sung believes he only has 'one or two' more years at the top and is unlikely to retire at Manchester United.

  • Sevilla show Park interest

    Manchester United midfielder Ji-Sung Park has emerged as a transfer target for Sevilla.

  • Park eyeing triple trophy haul

    Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung has set his sights on winning a hat-trick of trophies with the club this season.

  • CSKA Moscow v Man Utd preview

    Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs are among five senior Manchester United players to have been ruled out of Wednesday's UEFA Champions League tie against CSKA Moscow.

  • Park agrees United extension

    Park Ji-sung's agent claims the midfielder has agreed a new three-year contract at Manchester United.

  • Park in contract talks

    Park Ji-sung is in discussions with Manchester United officials over a new contract, according to the player's management agency.

  • New deal for Park

    Park Ji-sung is set to sign a lucrative new Manchester United contract during the early weeks of the season.

  • Park prepared for hero's welcome

    Park Ji-sung is bracing himself for an ear-splitting welcome to Seoul in Manchester United colours on Friday night.

  • Park set to make Korea appearance

    Sir Alex Ferguson expects local hero Park Ji-sung to play some part for Manchester United in their pre-season clash with FC Seoul on Friday.

  • Park eyes last World Cup

    Immediately after helping South Korea to their seventh successive World Cup finals, Park Ji-Sung announced that the tournament will probably be his last.