Ji-sung Park was a great Manchester United player. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
The South Korean was often recognised as one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s most trusted figures in the big games, but he revealed his despair after being left out of the 2008 Champions League final-winning squad.
It goes without saying that this was the saddest moment from his time at Manchester United.
Speaking to Utd Unscripted, he said: “We won the Premier League many times and reached many finals, and it was in Moscow that I had one of my saddest moments when I found out I wasn’t in the squad for the Champions League final against Chelsea.
“Everyone was great, but I still remember Patrice (Evra) and Carlos (Tevez) in particular, they definitely gave me comfort. I was sad, obviously, but they just hugged me, then I could read their faces how they felt disappointed for me and how sad they felt.
“They wanted to share the occasion with me, with their friend, so I felt really appreciated by their behaviour and their expressions on their faces. But what can we do? I was disappointed before, then once the game started I was just praying for us to win.
“That’s our situation. The atmosphere in our dressing room was like that. After everything, we won the Champions League so nobody can blame anybody!”
This shows the kind of character Park was on the pitch during his time at United. A team player who put his team-mates first.
Fortunately, we didn’t need him on the occasions but that doesn’t change our view of him as a midfielder. He was brilliant, hard-working and an important player during the club’s most successful period.
United were taken to penalties in the 2008 final after a tough encounter before John Terry slipped to give United advantage. Edwin van der Sar saved a crucial penalty from Nicolas Anelka as the Red Devils lifted their third European Cup.