Some of our Indian national team players have told me over the last few months that it would be a dream come true for them to face Manchester United star Ji-Sung Park when India take on South Korea in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. And they should consider themselves lucky then Ji-Sung Park is said to end his international career at the tournament in Qatar next month.
Ji-Sung's father Sung-Jong Park told the AFC website, "Ji-Sung said before the FIFA World Cup in South Africa that the Asian Cup would be his last national tournament. Now, ahead of the Asian Cup, there is no reason for him to change his mind."
The reason behind this decision is relatively simple. The 29 year old Ji-Sung Park plays for one of the biggest clubs in world football and when there are international commitments for South Korea, he has to travel half the world and that upsets his rhytym at the club. And Ji-Sung Park believes that the younger generation of South Korean footballers can take over from him to continue the path taken by the Taegeuk Warriors.
Ji-Sung Park told the AFC website, "When I give way, players like Lee Chung-Yong will appear. They don't have to think I should be there."
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson will surely be a happy man if his South Korean star will not have to fly across to Asia once in a while, especially with Park playing a very strong season for the Red Devils who amongst other achievements scored the winner against FC Arsenal on Monday.
But Park is the captain of the South Koreans and his younger team mates have said that they would like to see him play longer for the Taegeuk Warriors. Maybe it also depends on the South Koreans do at the upcoming Asian Cup.