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Park Ji-sung’s wholesome reaction when he found out about Man Utd's interest, he couldn't believe it

Park Ji-sung’s wholesome reaction when he found out about Man Utd's interest, he couldn't believe it

The former South Korea international joined Manchester United from PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2005.

Park Ji-sung has recalled the moment he found out about Manchester United's interest – and the phone conversation with Sir Alex Ferguson that led to him joining the ranks at Old Trafford.

The South Korean midfielder penned a four-year deal with United in the summer of 2005 for a reported £4 million.

After an impressive '04/05 campaign with PSV Eindhoven – a season where he was nominated for the 2005 UEFA Best Forward award alongside Adriano and Ronaldinho – the Premier League outfit were keen to swoop.

In fact, ahead of his final game with PSV, a surprised Park was told about Manchester United's interest.

"Before the final of the FA Cup, I heard that Manchester United were interested in me," Park told SuperSportTV. "But I said to my agent, 'Don't even joke!' I just laughed. I didn't believe it."

The former South Korean international would play his final game for PSV Eindhoven and after they won, he would receive a call from one of the greatest managers of all time.

"On the way back home, the agent said to me, 'Sir Alex Ferguson was awaiting your call.' I said, 'WHAT? Don't joke with me'. He said, 'No, it's true.' Sir Alex called and we spoke on the phone."

In the interview, Park is then asked what it was like speaking to Ferguson over the phone.

"I was quite afraid of taking the call because at the time, my English wasn't good enough," he admits. "He [Ferguson] spoke very slowly! The only things I remember understanding was who he mentioned had joined United from PSV in the past.

"After that, I knew it was true. I had to think about what I was going to do. Normally, I would have just said i just wanted to go. But Guus Hiddink wasn't a normal coach. He was special. I needed his permission.

"I explained [to Hiddink] that I wanted to test myself. I wanted to see where I could go from there."

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

In another recent interview with NBC, Park opened up on United players helping him adapt to the team and country.

"When I joined the players all just helped me to adapt to the culture of the club and the culture of England, how it looks like in the Premier League," he said.

"And even Sir Alex Ferguson off the pitch is a really great man and great person to follow, it made it a lot easier to adapt to the English culture."

One player in particular stood out for Park – a teammate who would later become one of his best friends after signing the following transfer window.

"When I look back, it was quite strange," Park says. "It was just one day after training and we were playing a video game. I won the first game and he (Patrice Evra) was quite angry at that, so he wanted me to play again, that started our relationship.

He became one of my best friends, the kind of friend that had a different character. He was a more outgoing person, he had that sense of humour. I'm a quiet, very quiet person but we always had happy times when we got together."

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

Park added: "He came over to South Korea sometimes and then we met at other places. We always joked on the phone, it's really good to have a best friend in a different culture.

"One of the great things about joining Manchester United is that I made a best friend."

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/supersportofficial

Topics: Patrice Evra, Manchester United, Premier League, Sir Alex Ferguson, PSV