I first heard of Park Ji-Sung while hearing the Manchester United Matches on the Sports Channel of BBC Radio Manchester which was once BBC GMR. Park Ji-Sung was also part of a series of verification cards sent by KBS [Korean Broadcasting System] World to all of its shortwave listeners. It is an honour to have one of the QSL Cards of Park Ji-Sung as one of my personal possessions.
The life of Park Ji-Sung is also one of great admiration since he was rejected by professional clubs while he was a teenager. The reason was that he was of small stature. While Park Ji-Sung suffered from this discrimination, he continued to play football or soccer. His efforts paid off when he played for Myong University.
Park Ji-Sung spent a year in Myong University and signed a contract with Kyoto Purple Sanga in the year 2000. His career with Kyoto Purple Sanga lasted three years and scored eleven goals within seventy six appearances. He was instrumental in leading Kyoto Purple Sanga into the Emperor’s Cup Finals by scoring an equalizer using his head. He was also instrumental in assisting Teruaki Kurobe in scoring a winning goal in these Finals.
The awards received during his period with the Kyoto Purple Sange included the Japanese League Division 2 in 2001 and the Emperor’s Cup in the Year 2002.
Park Ji-Sung deserves admiration for having signed with a Japanese Football or Soccer Club taking into account the animosity between Korea and Japan. It must be remembered that Japan once ruled Korea from 1910 to 1945, almost destroyed their culture, and forced many people from Korea to live in Japan as second class citizens. In fact, there are some Koreans in Japan who have felt that they are second class citizens.
In the year 2003, Park Ji-Sung signed with PSV Eindhoven. During his period with PSV, he scored thirteen goals within sixty four appearances. His golden age with PSV ocurred when he scored the first goal of PSV against AC Milan when both teams were playing the Championship League Semi Final. PSV Fans wrote a song about Park and it was included in the PSV Official Album titled “PSV Kampioen”.
Park Ji-Sung won the Eredivisie for the 2004-2005 season and the KNVB Cup for the year 2005 before moving to Manchester United in the year 2006.
His career with Manchester United was a historic milestone for him and the Republic of Korea. He became the First Korean and Asian to be the Captain of Manchester United. Park Ji-Sung also became the first Korean and Asian to win the Premier League for Manchester United. The awards of Park Ji-Sung during his period with Manchester United also included the Football League Cup, UEFA Championship League, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
The achievements of Park Ji-Sung was also present in the Republic of Korea since he won third place in the Asian Cup 2000 and the FIFA World Cup 2002. His scores in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Portugal, Kuwait, Turkmenistan, and the United Arab Emirates earned him the respect and admiration of his home country.
It also left the underwriter wandering about the people who did not want him in their teams for being of a short stature. It could be imagined that they are grinding their teeth.
Park Ji-Sung will always be remembered in the history of football or soccer in the Republic of Korea and the World.