South Korea midfielder Ji-Sung Park has told CNN he dreams of making history by becoming the first player from his homeland to figure in the Champions League final, Europe’s premier club match.
The showpiece event will take place in Rome on May 27, with defending champions Manchester United from England taking on Spanish title-holders and two-times winners Barcelona. Park has been a key player for United throughout their European campaign this season, even scoring in his side’s 3-0 second-leg win over Arsenal which sealed their passage to the final, not that this will guarantee his selection. Last year Park was a star player in the Red Devil’s semifinal second-leg defeat of Barcelona before Alex Ferguson left him out of his entire squad for the final in Moscow against Chelsea. It is a memory that Park told CNN he is keen to banish: “It would be amazing to me (to play) as I missed out last season, I believed I would get there again but never thought it would be so soon, hopefully this time I will be there.” If Park does play it is sure to attract large audiences in South Korea where there is a large fan base for the club, a fact that has prompted Manchester United to travel to the capital Seoul in July as part of a close-season tour. “It’s not just in Korea that people will be watching (this game) – it’s the world’s best match and everybody wants to watch,” Park said. The final pits two attacking, high-scoring domestic champions against one another in a tie that many feel will prove an entertaining contest, an opinion that Park shares.
“The two best teams are in the final — it won’t be easy but it will be a fantastic final. We will try our best, they will try their best — which means it will be a great final. “Every player wants to win the title if they can — if we can win the trophy we will be very proud.”