Park Ji-sung hopes to retire at Manchester United
Park Ji-sung made it clear Thursday that he has no plans to leave Manchester United, despite his uncertain future at Old Trafford.
“It is true I want to retire at Manchester United,” the 31-year-old told reporters on his arrival in Korea.
“But what I want does not always translate to reality. It becomes more feasible when the whole situation clicks.”
Park, the nation’s first export to the English Premier League, finished this past season without a medal for the first time since he joined the 19-time league champion in 2005.
Alex Ferguson’s side finished second in the league, while crashing out of other tournaments including the Champions League.
As a result, Park, dubbed “Three Lungs” for his remarkable endurance, saw his playing time diminish down the stretch as United did not have to depend on squad rotation, which translated to speculation that the midfielder could leave during the offseason.
Park, who appeared in 17 league matches and scored just twice, admitted that it was a poor end result.
“I had a disappointing season. It was a poor season for my individual statistics as well as the team’s results,” he said.
“I am sorry, but it is history. What to do in the future is more important.”
However, he has yet to look to the next season, which sees him in the final year of his contract.
“I do not have time to think about next season. As the 2011-12 season has just finished, I need to rest mentally and physically,” he said.
During his stay at home, Park, who heads charity organization JS Foundation, will host the Asian Dream Cup, aimed at improving the football environment in Southeast Asia in Bangkok, Thailand, on May 23. The charity match will feature high-profile footballers including United teammate Rio Ferdinand, Fabio Cannavaro of Italy and Sulley Muntari of Ghana along with former Korea internationals Ahn Jung-hwan and Park.