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Park Ji-sung Mesmerizes Soccer Fans With First Manchester Goal

Park Ji-sung Mesmerizes Soccer Fans With First Manchester Goal

Posted July. 28, 2005 11:38,   


Park Ji-sung scored his first goal for Manchester United at Gong Ren Stadium (Worker`s Stadium) in Beijing, China on July 26.

A reporter of British daily newspaper “The Times,” Oliver Kay assessed Park’s play, saying, “With his Asian Tour 2005 play, Park Ji-sung might have captivated not only Manchester United’s coach, Alex Ferguson, but also British fans.”

Foreign media outlets also didn’t spare their praises for Park’s play. The online version of the British newspaper “Daily Mirror” and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) all gave priority coverage to news of Park’s first goal for Manchester United.

Prior to this, Reuters reported in an article titled, “Park scores as Manchester United ease to win in Beijing” that Park looked lively throughout the match with his neat passing and aggressive tackling.

On that day, Chinese fans booed Park, thinking of a Chinese player on Manchester United, Dong Fangzhou, but after the game, Chinese reporters applauded Park’s sincere play and manner.

However, Park looked composed, showing no signs of being shaken by the praise around him after an interview at the hotel right after the game.

Park said, “I feel so happy that I scored my first goal in an official game. I feel rather light because I think I showed what I’m supposed to do as a striker.” Coach Ferguson positively evaluated Park’s play, saying, “I’m satisfied with Park’s movements and breaking through ability,” but Ferguson also added that as much as it’s only the beginning of the season, he expects more of him in the times ahead.

That’s why Park can’t just remain upbeat. As coach Ferguson implied, upon the start of the season, Park has to compete against world-class star players in earnest to become a regular player on the club.

As if Park knows this too well, Park noted, “this match was a friendly match, and the real one is after the league begins.” Park hinted that he will show something big in the Premier League that starts in early August, rather than just indulging in the joy of his first goal. Park confessed that although he is not conscious of any specific player because every player has top skill, he always ends up feeling tension.

Ryan Giggs, who is competing against Park for the position, said that a competition always strengthens a player and a team, and added that a competition against young players, such as Park, will further strengthen him and his team.

Park scored his first goal but the real game is on the line.

Jae-Yun Jung jaeyuna@donga.com