Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed his regret for misusing Park Ji-sung in the 2011 Champions League final against Barcelona and Lionel Messi
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The former South Korea international spent seven sparkling seasons at Old Trafford between 2005 and 2012, lifting eight major honors including Champions League in 2008.
This is why it is so impressive that Ferguson feels one of the biggest games of his tenure could revolve around the talented, tireless midfielder.
Games mentioned? 2011 Champions League final, when United came back Barcelona once again.
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The Red Devils fouled Barca and Lionel Messi The form shone in the final two years earlier, when the Argentine joined Samuel Eto’o to score in a 2-0 victory.
United sought revenge at Wembley but encountered a Blaugrana operating at the height of their power under Pep Guardiola, who led his side to a 3-1 win to claim their first European title Monday.
Messi was again among the goals – restoring the Catalan giants’ advantage early in the second half – leaving Ferguson wondering if he had failed in his tactical approach to dealing with the forward. excellent or not.
The Scots legend positioned Park on the left wing for the 2011 final instead of a more central role where he could have kept Messi restless – a task he successfully carried out to the Championship. neutralized AC Milan’s playing midfielder Andrea Pirlo a season earlier.
“That’s where I lost the final to Barcelona at Wembley,” said Ferguson SportBible in May 2021.
“I should have changed it in the first half and put Ji-Sung Park in for Messi. It was a mistake. I realized it after 10 minutes.
“I was going to do it in the first half, but we equalized before half-time and I think they could have seen the game differently.
“We played pretty well in the last ten minutes of the first half, we’ll come in and really be able to take the lead.
“But I think if I play Ji-Sung Park with Messi, I think we beat them, I really do.
“Messi has two highlights, one great goal he scored and then the other. He’s a great player, but if there’s one player that does it [nullify him] That’s Ji-Sung Park. “
Park, who turned 41 on Friday, proved how ready he is to put his technical abilities aside and mark a player for the good of the team.
Not only that, he’s also extremely efficient at this job, as shown in Pirlo .’s lavish praise for the Seoul-born star in his autobiography.
“They programmed him to stop me. His devotion to the task almost moved me,” Pirlo wrote. “Although he is a famous player, he has agreed to be used as a guard dog.”
So to this day, Ferguson, Park and United fans may wonder if things would have turned out differently at Wembley nearly 11 years ago if Messi had been subjected to “guard dog” treatment.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/alex-ferguson-lionel-messi-manutd-26329344 Sir Alex Ferguson ignored Lionel Messi's plan despite Park Ji-sung's "approval" at Man Utd