• Park Ji-sung was a nightmare! – Scholes

    Paul Scholes has recalled being man-marked by Park Ji-sung in training, describing his former Manchester United teammate as a ‘nightmare’ to play against.

    Park completed a £4-million move to Old Trafford from PSV in the summer of 2005, and went on to feature in 203 matches for the club in all competitions, scoring 27 goals.

    The former South Korea international quickly earned a cult following among supporters for his tenacious style of play, with Sir Alex Ferguson often trusting him with key roles in big games due to his exceptional work rate.

    Park picked up 13 major trophies during his time in Manchester, including four Premier League titles and the Champions League, before departing for QPR in 2012.

    He was part of a squad widely revered as one of the finest in English football history, and played alongside legendary figures such as Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.

    Scholes says he was unable to get the better of Park in practice sessions at the club’s Carrington training base, and remembers his Italian counterpart Andrea Pirlo having the same issues with the Korean during United’s Champions League showdowns against AC Milan.

    The Red Devils great told Wes Brown on MUTV: ‘I do remember you trying to man-mark me, but you weren’t the only one, Wes!

    ‘Do you know who the worst one was? Park Ji-sung. He was a nightmare! He was unbelievable.

    ‘Do you remember when he did it against [Andrea] Pirlo? Ah, he was unreal! He had energy all day and discipline. The discipline was unreal.

    ‘He just used to come up to me, look at me and not say a word, stand right next to me … “Oh Jesus, here we go!” “Come on, ginge!” – Just say something to me, have a laugh with me!

    ‘But he was unbelievable at it. He just used to come and stare right into my face, stare right into my eyes, “You’re not getting a kick today.”‘

    Scholes also revealed that he initially rose through United’s academy ranks as a centre forward, before being encouraged to transition into midfield by ex-youth team coach Eric Harrison.

    He added: ‘I grew up as a centre forward. I was just a goalscorer which you find hard to believe to where my position went on but I always liked playing in midfield.

    ‘Eric Harrison always said I’d be a central midfield player and possession was everything we did when you’re 11-12 years of age in the academy, it was just always about possession so over the years you’re just watching players and you learn how to do it.’

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