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Park Aims For More Goals This Season

Posted July. 24, 2006 03:18,   


It’s a fresh start. The new Park Ji-sung (age 25, Manchester United), who returned to Korea to rest after the 2006 World Cup in Germany, left for England on July 23.

Park revealed that he will become ever more aggressive. He said, “This season I would like to show visible results with goals or assists. The number of goals I make needs to increase in multiples. I think I need to increase my number of assists by just a few more. Just as my fans long for goals, I also want to put some in. If I get the chance, I will go for straight for a goal.”

But this season will be more of a burden for Park than before. “In the first season, it was an honor to play for Manchester United, and I knew I had to learn a lot. Personally, I think this season is more important. The kind of a play that I show will decide whether I remain or follow the footsteps of other players who have left the team,” he said.

Manchester United has recently showed signs of bringing in a new player to compete with Park Ji-sung, and some English press said that Park was a bad decision. But Park responded to these in a calm manner.

When questioned about his wedding plans, Park replied, “I am not seeing anyone yet. But besides football, meeting a good person and getting married is the most important issue for me.”

Regarding Seol Ki-hyun (age 27, Reading FC), who has recently become the third Korean to play in the English Premier League, Park said, “I think playing against him (Seol) will be less of a burden than playing against Young-pyo. When playing with Young-pyo, we are in a position where we have to counter each other and steal the ball, but since Ki-hyun is a striker, there won’t be much need for that. Ki-hyun entered the English league before I did, and he is receiving favorable comments, and I think he will adjust well.”

Park Ji-sung will join team training right away from July 24. On July 27, Manchester United will play an away match against Celtic, a Scotland Premier League team. It is not certain whether Park Ji-sung will play in the match.

Meanwhile, Lee Young-pyo (age 29, Tottenham Hotspur) who was scheduled to leave with Park Ji-sung, had to put off his departure for a day, as his military service documentation was incomplete. Lee Dong-guk (age 27, Pohang Steelers), who is receiving rehabilitation treatment, returned to Korea to sort out visa-related issues, and left for Frankfurt on the same day as Park.

Won-Hong Lee bluesky@donga.com