Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Park ends international career

Park Ji-sung
Park Ji-sung

South Korea midfielder Park Ji-sung has retired from international football, boss Cho Kwang-rae has confirmed.

The 29-year-old Manchester United star decided to call time on his international career along with team-mate Lee Young-pyo following South Korea's 3-2 victory over Uzbekistan in Friday's Asian Cup third-place play-off encounter at Al Sadd Stadium.

"Two players from our team, Park Ji-sung and Lee Young-pyo, are retiring today from international football," revealed Cho.

"They've done a remarkable job for the prosperity of Korean football.

"It would be better if I could retain both of them in the national team but other players have done an excellent job."

Park won the last of his 100 caps in Tuesday's semi-final penalty shootout defeat to Japan. He made his debut in 2000 against Laos in an Asian Cup qualifier and lies eighth on Korea's all-time appearance list.

Cho revealed that Park wanted to play against Uzbekistan but following two consecutive games that went to extra time, he left him out to avoid picking up an injury that could impact his Manchester United career.

"Park was desperate to play in the match and he asked me to let him play but as he had played two extra times in the previous two games, the team doctor advised not to play him to prevent any possible injury," he added.

"I decided to save him for his future career at his club."

Former Tottenham defender Lee, meanwhile retires having earned 127 caps for the Taeguk Warriors, leaving Celtic defender Cha Du-ri as the only player remaining from Korea's historic 2002 World Cup semi-final appearance.

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