Park Ji Sung: United’s 19th title biggest career moment

Park, who played for PSV Eindhoven before joining United and ended his career playing for the same club, also spoke on the Dutch legend Johan Cruyff who recently passed away.

Unlike many players, Park, after he quit Manchester United, didn’t choose the greener pastures in Qatar or the MLS, and instead chose to stay in the Premier League with QPR.   -  K. MURALI KUMAR

For a Manchester United player who played during the better part of the first decade of the millennium, winning the Champions League would have been the biggest career moment. But for Park Ji Sung, the South Korean who played with such distinction for the club, it was when his team won the record-breaking 19th title.

For, after playing every minute of the quarterfinal and the semifinal, Park didn’t even make the bench on that eventful night.

“Very painful moment for me,” he said here in a media interaction. “I expected to be involved in the final. But it was Sir Alex’s decision. We won and it proved the right. He later explained and said it was the hardest decision in his career.”

Those were the times when club members could choose the better of the successes but now the situation doesn’t look rosy for the club. The reason, Park believes, isn’t restricted to a single thing.

“When teams play badly, it’s not only one problem,” he said. “Players, coaching staff, manager all may be included. So we need to get together and get through the tough time. Everyone has to give 100% in their position.”

Unlike many players, Park, after he quit Manchester United, didn’t choose the greener pastures in Qatar and the United States. “Because i just wanted to play at the highest level,” he said. “Queen’s Park Rangers could offer me that. I wanted that challenge. It didn’t go well. But PSV [Eindhoven] at that time offered me the next chance. I had a good time there. But I had pain in my knee and I retired.”

But he felt that the most recent trend of even top players, who are not over the hill, ending up in China will do good. “It will actually benefit Chinese players. They can play with them, against them and can learn a lot. We have the AFC Champions League and they will play in that. The fans will get to see them. So it’s good.”

Park, who played for PSV Eindhoven before joining United and ended his career playing for the same club, also spoke on the Dutch legend Johan Cruyff who recently passed away.

“He not just impacted the Dutch league, but across the world – with his tactics and his vision. A top player and a top manager. Great man in history. Very sad to lose him.”