Football

Park looking forward to 'perfect final'

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Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung hopes to put all his Champions League hard-luck tales behind him with the "perfect final" at Wembley on Saturday.

The South Korea international was left out of the squad for the 2008 victory over Chelsea in Moscow - a decision manager Sir Alex Ferguson admitted "almost broke my heart" - but was selected the following year in Rome when they lost 2-0 to Barcelona.

"Missing out on one final and losing another makes me more eager to play and win this game - against which team it doesn't matter," he said. "If I play and we win the game it will be fantastic for me. It is my dream but I have to play 100% for my dreams to come true."


 

He added: "Obviously Barcelona are one of the best clubs in the world so if we beat them we will create the perfect final - for me as well. It is a great game against one of the best teams in the world and it is in England.

"They have changed a couple of players from 2009 but their style has not changed. We have changed as well. I don't know what way we will play but we have to show a difference from 2009."

After suffering the ultimate disappointment in Moscow, Park admits he still gets a buzz when Ferguson picks him - which he invariably does nowadays for the major matches.

"It is great when I hear the words 'You are playing today'. Everyone wants to play for a big club in big games," he said. "When I was young I couldn't believe [it would happen] but it has come true and now I just have to do what the boss wants me to do."

Park's high-energy style will no doubt be required if United are to combat the possession game employed by Pep Guardiola's side. The 30-year-old is seen as a crucial cog in the tactics to limit the influence of Xavi and Andres Iniesta in midfield who will look to link up with forward Lionel Messi as often as possible.

But Park stressed that it would be the performance of United's midfield unit which would probably determine how successful they were against the La Liga champions.

"I don't know which role I will have in the final but I have to do it 100% and play only for winning the game," he said. "We have great midfielders as well: Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs, Anderson - they have great ability to stop them."

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Topics:
European News
Football
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
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