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Park Off to Good Start With Manchester United

Posted July. 11, 2005 03:20,   


On July 9, Park Ji-sung, who moved to the English Premier League’s Manchester United club, recorded his first-ever assist in an official practice game. His first assist came just one day after he signed his contract on July 8.

In a practice game against a team from a lower English league held at Manchester United’s practice field, Park Ji-sung played with his world-class teammates in the first half of the game.

Van Nistelrooy played as central striker, Cristiano Ronaldo took charge of the left-wing striker position, and Park Ji-sung played as the right-wing striker.

Park, who played tentatively early in the game, performed more actively later, passing a ball to Van Nistelrooy while heading down the right side of the field at the 22-minute point of the first half.

Park didn’t avoid physical contact with defensive players and passed the ball to Ronaldo on his way down the right side at the 30-minute point of the first half. Ronaldo scored a goal off the pass, which gave Park his first-ever assist with Manchester United. Then, at the 40-minute point, Park took a left-footed shot on goal after leaving a defense player.

Playing for the first time in 30 days since his last game on June 9, Park said that it was rather hard for him to play in a real game after such a long time.

Park looked somewhat relaxed, saying, “I heard that coach Ferguson is strict, but I’m not sure. Coach Ferguson made a good impression on me.”

Park added, “The team’s atmosphere was better than I thought. I feel relieved because my teammates gave me a warm welcome. I think the most important thing is how I play on the field.”

Won-Hong Lee bluesky@donga.com