Ji-Sung Park invades the big league
European and South American teams have for the longest time, dominated football. The players from these countries consistently set the bar for football excellence all over the world. Teams and players from Brazil, Argentina, Germany, and England are the most prominent and have been most identified with what Pele has called “the beautiful game.”
The dominance of South American and European players has been virtually unstoppable. Not even the American’s athleticism has been able to make a dent in football. It remains one of the few sports where the United States has failed to either dominate or made a very significant contribution to the world stage. This dominance by these two regions can be attributed to two things. In South America, the strong love for “futbol” has meant that it continually produced world-class talent that cannot be ignored by the rest of the world. Their development remained unfettered because the love for the sport meant there were various outlets for the youth to develop their skills. On the other hand, the dominance of Europe in football can be partially attributed to the racism that was quite prevalent during the early years.
But with the positive developments in world football more and more players from other countries are getting known for their exceptional skills as players – and Asia seems to be a goldmine for fresh new football talents.
One of the most prominent football talents to ever come from the Orient is Ji-Sung Park. The Korean native is currently proving his mettle in one of the biggest football stages on earth – England’s pro football league. And what’s more he playing for a team that is undoubtedly an icon of football, Manchester United, the biggest and richest football franchise in the world.
Having signed a lucrative .4 million deal for Manchester United, Park now has an amazing opportunity to show what Asian football talents can accomplish and so far, he hasn’t failed anyone.
Park was first noticed during the World Cup in 2002, when Korea had a tremendous (some say miraculous) run towards the semifinals. He was next seen playing for Eindhoven. Although he rarely received playing time during his first year, by 2005 he has eventually become an integral part of the team.
Park’s transfer to Manchester United last July 2005 has cemented his reputation for amazing skills and exceptional work ethic. Sir Alex Ferguson fully realizes what Park can contribute to the team. As a sign of his faith in Park, he has allowed him to play in various positions and has included in him in very crucial games. This goes to show how valued Park is in Manchester United roster.
Park is proving to be a great investment for Manchester United. But more than that, Ji-Sung Park is testament to the immense football talents that are just waiting to be discovered in Asia.