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Park Ji-Sung: South Korea star player at World Cup 2010
20/11/2009  by Telegraph.co.uk
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Underdog: Park Ji-Sung continues to prove his doubters wrong and contributed five goals to South Korea's qualifying campaign
Caps: 84
Goals: 11
World Cup appearances: 10 (2002, 2006)
World Cup 2010 qualification: 11 appearances/5 goals

Club: Manchester United
Age: 28
Position: Midfielder

There were strong suspicions when Park Ji-Sung signed for Manchester United four years ago that his arrival was more to do with shifting shirts in the Far East than on strengthening Sir Alex Ferguson’s midfield.

Time has proven his worth, with Park making over 100 appearances for the side since his £4 million move from PSV Eindhoven.

Park has spent a career confounding expectations. He was rejected by a number of clubs in South Korea on account of his lack of height, and his first professional experience came not in his home country but with Japanese club Kyoto Purple Sanga, where he was deployed primarily as a defensive midfielder.

However, when he broke into the national side, manager Guus Hiddink saw his potential as a winger, and it is in the wide position where he has made his name.

He was a pivotal part of the team that reached the World Cup semi-finals on home turf in 2002, scoring a brilliant goal to knock Portugal out in the group stages.

He played in every single South Korea game between the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, and scored a late equaliser against France as they narrowly missed out on qualification.

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