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Wayne Rooney: Park Ji-sung’s Contribution to Man United's Success Was as Important as Ronaldo’s

Former Manchester United forward and attacking midfielder Wayne Rooney said Park Ji-sung’s contribution to Manchester United’s success was as important as Cristiano Ronaldo's, who is widely regarded as one of the best players in the history of football. In his column for The Times, Rooney wrote that without the South Korean, who joined the Red Devils in 2005 for a modest sum of $5 million dollars, the club’s victories in the Premier League and UEFA Champions League wouldn’t have been possible.

"It's crazy but 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. That's because of what Park gave to the collective and I want to talk about teams. They - not stars - are the most important thing in sport", wrote the 32-year-old footballer.

Rooney recalled a 2010 Champions League playoff game against AC Milan, which the Red Devils won, and how United’s manager Sir Alex Ferguson told Park to contain midfielder Andreas Pirlo. "He literally said to Park 'Your job today is not about touching the ball, it’s not about making passes, your job is Pirlo. That’s all: Pirlo'", said Rooney. "I think Pirlo barely had 40 passes in that game, and 95 percent were backwards because Park was so unbelievable at carrying out his orders".

Park Ji-sung spent seven seasons at Old Trafford and together with Ronaldo and Rooney, won three Premier League titles, three League Cups, and a Champions League title.

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