Park targets last four repeat
Park Ji-sung wants South Korea to prove they are better than the side who reached the 2002 semi-finals.
Last Updated: 25/06/10 6:17pm
Park Ji-sung has called upon South Korea to prove they are better than the side who reached the 2002 World Cup semi-finals.
Eight years ago, the Koreans reached the last four on home soil for the first time in their history and Park is aiming to get that far again at the South Africa finals.
With in-form Uruguay standing in their way at the last 16 stage, Huh Jung-moo's side face a difficult task if they are to progress to the quarter-finals.
However, Park is convinced they can get past the South Americans in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
"We ourselves don't have a clear conviction of how far we can go," said the Manchester United midfielder.
"But in 2002, we made it to the semi-finals and I don't think that was just because it was on home ground.
"We will do our best to prove that was not the case."
Park, 29, made his name on the international stage with the co-hosts of the 2002 finals, riding a wave of patriotic fervour that very nearly went all the way under Dutch coach Guus Hiddink before losing 1-0 to Germany.
They failed to make it past the group stage at the 2006 finals in Germany, but they have gone one better this time around and are determined to embark upon another big adventure.
Some commentators believe the current team may be even stronger than the one which took such spectacular advantage of the comforts of home, although Park, who revealed he has received good luck messages from club boss Sir Alex Ferguson and his United team-mates, insists that can only be assessed once their tournament comes to an end.
He said: "I can't compare this team to the 2002 team. That was the best team in our history.
"But this 2010 team is improving and we have got through the first round of games.
"Shortly, at the end of the World Cup, we are going to compare the previous team with this one and hopefully then we can say we are better."