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Man Utd´s Park motivated to prove Asian stars worth (SN)

SoccerNews in English Premier League 21 May 2008

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Park Ji-Sung admits his success at Manchester United has been driven by a desire to prove that Asian players belong at Europe's biggest clubs.

South Korea winger Park feels stars from Asia don't get the respect they deserve and often aren't given a chance to shine in the Premier League, Serie A and Spain's La Liga.

The 27-year-old midfielder showed he could compete in Europe during his time in Netherlands with PSV Eindhoven and earned a move to United in 2005.

Park felt he had to prove himself again at Old Trafford. But there is no doubting Sir Alex Ferguson's belief in Park now after the United manager started him in both legs of their Champions League semi-final against Barcelona this season.

“I proved my ability with PSV but some people still think Asian players aren't good enough to play in Europe. For me it's always challenging to prove them wrong,” Park told United's webiste.

“When I first came to United I had to prove my ability. Now everyone knows I'm not just here to sell shirts!”

After missing the opening weeks of the season through injury, Park has returned to help United retain the Premier League title and reach Wednesday's Champions League final.

He admits it has been a dream end to the campaign.

“I wasn't playing at the start of the season because of my injury, so that made it hard,” he said. “But since I have been back I have improved and now I feel 100 per cent.

“I'm enjoying playing with my team-mates and I am so happy to be in the team.”

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