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Ji-sung Park makes Manchester United return

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Former Manchester United player and South Koran legend Park Ji-Sung has made a return to Old Trafford to take up a role as club ambassador. 

Park, who joined United from Dutch club PSV Eindhoven in 2005, was a massive boost for United's commercial success in the Asian market. Park is also known as the most recognised Asian footballer around the globe.

Park as a player

The midfielder spent seven very successful seasons at Old Trafford before moving to Queens Park Rangers in 2012. The 33-year-old recently hung up his boots after spending his last playing days at former club PSV Eindhoven. 

Park joins Sir Bobby Charlton, Denis Law, Bryan Robson, Gary Neville, Andy Cole and Peter Schmeichel in an illustrious list of club ambassadors. 

A club statement read: "As part of his role, the highly decorated player will attend various events and functions on behalf of the club, promoting the work it does within the community and with its partners, sharing anecdotes from his time at Old Trafford."

The inaugration

The former South Korea international will be invited to Old Trafford and will once again take to the pitch with former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, before the kickoff against Everton in the Premier League on October 5. 

When asked about the new role, Park said: "Some of the best moments of my life and career were spent here and I will never forget the great support I had from the club and the fans. I am looking forward to once again representing United and sharing some of these memories with our global fanbase."

Park spent his best years as a footballer in Manchester, winning numerous trophies including four Premier League titles, three League Cups, one UEFA Champions League and one FIFA Club World Cup which makes him the most decorated Asian player in footballing history. 

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Commercial Success

With the signing of Park Ji-Sung, and later Shinji Kagawa, United's popularity in Asia soared sky high. The twenty-time league champions have been topping all merchandise sales in the continent for a while now. 

Manchester United Group Managing Director Richard Arnold said: "Ji was a fantastic servant for the club and I’m delighted that he is becoming an ambassador for Manchester United. He has always been a favourite with our fans both at Old Trafford and around the world and this new role will give him the chance to meet many of these fans and share his stories.

"Ji joins a long list of ex-players who are now working with the club in various guises; from ambassadorial appearances, media work and in coaching roles at the Aon Training Complex. It demonstrates the club’s ability to not only attract some of the best talent in the world, but retain it even after the players have retired."

Great work rate

Park was famous for his work rate at United and was often described as a 'big game player'. Sir Alex Ferguson often deployed him as a midfielder in crunch European ties and the South Korean seldom disappointed. Park also had a penchant of scoring important goals for the club, especially against Arsenal. 

In his 2013 autobiography, 'I Think Therefore I Play', Italian footballing legend and Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo wrote that Park, who was deployed to man-mark him in matches for both PSV and United in the UEFA Champions League, was the one player that he could not get the better of.

"The midfielder must have been the first nuclear-powered South Korean in history, in the sense that he rushed about the pitch at the speed of an electron," Pirlo said of Park. 

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Topics:
Manchester United
Premier League
Alex Ferguson
Ji-Sung Park
Louis van Gaal
Football

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