Park joins United 200 club
Park Ji-sung has spoken of his pride after making his 200th appearance for Man Utd against Chelsea last weekend.
Last Updated: 08/02/12 4:59pm
Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung has spoken of his pride after making his 200th appearance for the club against Chelsea last weekend.
The midfielder completed the milestone when he was introduced as a substitute in United's thrilling 3-3 comeback draw at Chelsea on Sunday.
The achievement bears extra significance given Park's injury struggles since arriving in Manchester from PSV Eindhoven as a £2million signing in 2005.
The 30-year-old was dubbed by many as an elaborate money-making venture by the Red Devils at that time, yet the South Korean has proved that he has the quality to be an important player for the club.
"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."
"Before I came here, I believed I could do it but I wasn't sure. 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."
Since Park arrived at United the club have claimed four league titles - becoming the first South Korean to collect a winners' medal - three League Cups, the World Club Cup and the UEFA Champions League.
Park was not in the match-day squad for the 2008 Champions League triumph over Chelsea in Moscow, however he did play a pivotal role in the semi-final victory against Barcelona, running a mammoth 19km to help shut down Lionel Messi in the second leg at Old Trafford.
He has also made a remarkable habit of scoring in matches against the biggest opposition, most recently in the FA Cup defeat to Saturday's visitors Liverpool.
Typically though, Park has no desire to rest on his laurels.
"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."