Park - United are favourites
Park Ji-sung is full of confidence heading into Man Utd's UEFA Champions League showdown with Barcelona.
By Lucas Brown
Last Updated: 29/04/08 7:08pm
Park Ji-sung is full of confidence heading into Manchester United's UEFA Champions League showdown with Barcelona.
The Red Devils ground out a goalless draw in the first leg of the semi-final encounter with their Spanish counterparts last week, and head into Tuesday's second meeting at Old Trafford knowing that they are strongly tipped to reach their first final in nine years.
Their South Korean international Park certainly believes that Sir Alex Ferguson's men will be heading to Moscow, and accepts that the hosts will go into the European contest as slight favourites.
"Yes, I firmly believe that we are [favourites] because we are playing as well in the Premier League as we are in Europe," Park told Marca.
"Barca have a great team, with players such as (Lionel) Messi, (Thierry) Henry and Deco, but it is true that they are having problems winning league games because of inconsistency.
"Manchester United are a lot better, despite what happened at the Nou Camp."
Park could make history as the first Korean to feature in a Champions League final should he help United past Barca.
He admits that is a goal he is desperate to achieve, especially having come so close back in 2005 with his previous club PSV Eindhoven.
"It would be great to be the first Korean player to appear in the final," he said.
"Three years ago I reached the semi-final with PSV when we played AC Milan.
"It was a huge disappointment to go out. I still cannot forget that very late goal by (Massimo) Ambrosini that cost us."
United's quest for European glory may be helped by the suspension of Barca's experienced Mexican defender Rafael Marquez.
However, with a host of internationals ready to step into his boots Park insists that United are still in for a tough game.
"For us it is an advantage not to have to face someone like Marquez who is a great defender and is difficult to pass, and he has great experience in games like this," said the United winger.
"Nevertheless, Barca have other great players to come in like (Gabriel) Milito, (Lilian) Thuram, (Carles) Puyol or (Gianluca) Zambrotta, all with the same experience as Marquez."