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Park Helps United Reach Champions League Final

Posted May. 07, 2009 09:11,   


“He opened the road to Rome 1,430 kilometers away (Manchester Radio ‘Key 103’).”

“He played his best game since moving to Manchester United (United coach Alex Ferguson).”

Park Ji-sung, 28, has received a flood of praise after scoring his first Champions League goal in nearly four years, helping United advance to the final, 3-1, over Premiership rival Arsenal Tuesday.

The Korean midfielder’s goal came in the eighth minute at Emirates Stadium in London. Park played all 90 minutes of the second leg of the semifinal as United won 4-1 on aggregate.

United will play for the title FC Barcelona, which beat Chelsea in the other semifinal. The final is set for May 27 in Rome.

Park’s goal was his fourth this season and the 12th in his Premier League career. His first goal in the Champions League came May 5, 2005, when he was in a PSV Eindhoven uniform in the semifinal against AC Milan.

“Park Ji-sung is one of most underrated players in the game. He will not disappoint us in the final,” Ferguson said, virtually assuring Park a spot on the roster for the final.

Last season, Park had played four full games in a row in the Champions League, but was not named to the lineup for the final against Chelsea.

“Every player wants to play in the final. I do, too,” Park said.

His goal yesterday also put him in a favorable position for his expected contract extension. British media said Park, whose contract with United expires in July, will sign a new four-year deal.