Park to end national team career after Asian Cup - father

Reuters

Fri, 17 Dec 13:22:00 2010

Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung will retire from South Korea's national team after next month's Asian Cup in Qatar, his father was quoted as saying on Friday.

"Ji-sung said before the World Cup in South Africa that the Asian Cup would be his last national tournament," his father Park Sung-jong told the Asian Football Confederation website (www.the-afc.com) on Friday.

"Now, ahead of the Asian Cup, there is no reason for him to change his mind.

"Ji-sung said, 'When I give way, players like Lee Chung-yong will appear. They don't have to think I should be there.'"

Park will join up with his compatriots after United's Premier League game against Sunderland on Dec. 26 and the 29-year-old could miss six Premier League games and an FA Cup tie while he is away.

United manager Alex Ferguson, who signed Park from PSV Eindhoven in 2005, said after he scored the only goal in United's 1-0 win over Arsenal on Monday that he would be missed while in Qatar.

"It is a shame he has to go, but there's nothing we can do about that," Ferguson said after the game. "He is very important for us as he proved tonight with his goal."

Park captained South Korea at this year's World Cup finals in South Africa, helping them reach the last 16.

In 2009 he became the first Asian to play in the Champions League final but ended on the losing side when Barcelona beat United 2-0 in Rome.

 

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