Former Man U star Park retires
SOUTH Korea's former Manchester United star Park Ji Sung announced his retirement yesterday, ending a trail-blazing career that made him Asia's most decorated player.
The 33-year-old said a long-running knee problem had finally forced him out of a sport in which he reached the 2002 World Cup semi-final and became the first Asian to play a Champions League final.
The last game for the industrious and versatile midfielder was on May 3 for Dutch club PSV Eindhoven, where he had been on loan from Queen's Park Rangers in the English Championship.
"I've come to the conclusion that I cannot go on any longer," said Park, who was known as "Three-Lung Park" at Old Trafford because of his high work rate. "Because of my weak knee, I don't think I could last another season."
Park underwent a major operation on his right knee in 2007 that kept him out of the game for eight months, but the joint continued to give him trouble for years afterwards.
His retirement ends a circular European adventure that started at PSV, before he joined Manchester United in 2005 and became the first Asian winner of the Champions League in 2008.
Park missed that Champions League final against Chelsea but the following year he became the first Asian to play the European title match when United lost 0-2 to Barcelona.