Park rules out Korea U-turn

Thu, 26 Jan 17:41:09 2012

Park Ji-sung has made it clear he will not be coming out of international retirement to help South Korea qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Manchester United midfielder Park and Vancouver Whitecaps' former Tottenham defender Lee Young-pyo both confirmed their retirement following last year's Asian Cup tournament. However, a shock 2-1 defeat to Lebanon last November has left his country's hopes of reaching the finals in Brazil on a knife-edge.

South Korea are currently level on points at the top of Asia Group B with Lebanon going into the final round of matches on February 29.

Should Korea lose or draw at home with Kuwait and Lebanon beat the United Arab Emirates, who have yet to pick up a point, then new coach Choi Kang-hee's side will not be heading to Brazil. Such fears have prompted fans to implore Park to again pull on the national shirt.

Park, though, has no such intention as he said: "If I had thoughts to return I would have never made the retirement announcement. I don't think the national team could overcome the difficult situation with just a player like me returning to the team.

"Those reports that our team is in crisis may affect players, but if players perform like they have been doing and concentrate, there will be a good result. The national team is better than Kuwait, so I just hope players don't think too much on the match."


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