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Former Man United captain claims this star was as important as Ronaldo for club’s success

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Park Ji-sung

Park Ji-Sung was as important as Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United, claims Wayne Rooney

Former Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has claimed that Park Ji-Sung was as important as Cristiano Ronaldo to the club’s success under Sir Alex Ferguson. (h/t The Times)

Manchester United enjoyed a lot of success in the latter half of the 2000s, including a Premier League and UEFA Champions League double in 2007/08. And Ronaldo was at the centre of the success for the Red Devils, playing a starring role.

In that campaign alone, Ronaldo plundered 42 goals across all competitions, on the way to winning his first Ballon d’Or.

Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo was integral to Manchester United’s success under Sir Alex

However, United’s all-time leading goalscorer Rooney reckons that Park Ji-Sung was as integral as the Portuguese for the club’s glory. (h/t The Times)

“If you mentioned Cristiano Ronaldo to a 12-year-old, they would immediately say, ‘Yeah, he was a brilliant player for Manchester United,’ but if you said ‘Park Ji-sung’ they may not know who he was. Yet all of us who played with Park know he was almost as important to our success.”

Indeed, every Manchester United fan would agree that Park Ji-Sung was a key player for the club, but almost never got the limelight he deserved.

Time and again, the South Korean stepped up in the big games, proving his worth to the team.

Park Ji-Sung and Wayne Rooney
Park Ji-Sung and Wayne Rooney

Nobody can forget his performance against Barcelona in the UCL semi-final of 2007/08, when he stifled Andres Iniesta and Xavi completely. Or that display against AC Milan in 2010, when he took Andrea Pirlo out of the game entirely.

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The South Korean left our club in 2012, having made 205 appearances, in which he scored 27 goals. He may not have been as big a star as Rooney or Ronaldo. But “Three-lung” Park will always be remembered fondly at Old Trafford.