When he came on as a substitute against Chelsea in Sunday, it was Ji-Sung Park’s 200th appearance for United, a milestone he is very happy to have reached.
“I am proud to reach this mark,” said Park. “I never thought I could play 200 matches for Manchester United. “Some people did say those things (shirt-seller) when I came here. Now no-one says it. I am very happy that I proved Asian players can deal with the high levels of European football.”
The signing of Park for £2m from PSV Eindhoven in 2005 raised more than a few eyebrows, but Park has answered all the critics who wondered if he was good enough to play in the Premier League:
“Before I came here, I believed I could do it but I wasn’t sure,” he said. “But the manager believed in me. He encouraged me to deal with these kinds of levels. He told me to fight. That made a big difference for me to adapt to English football.”
Park has picked up a boatload of media’s since signing for United. In his time at the club he has picked up four league titles – becoming the first South Korean to collect a winners’ medal – three League Cups, the FIFA World Club Cup and the UEFA Champions League.
“To make 200 games is brilliant,” he said. “I have a lot of good memories, especially the days when I have lifted trophies. They are great feelings. But the atmosphere at Manchester United is such that when you reach one point in your career, there is a determination straight away to reach other goals and aims. That is why Manchester United players want to lift trophies again and again. I know why their hunger is so much to win titles. That is the mentality.”