An All-Star football game will be played next Thursday to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Cup, featuring Park Ji-sung and other members of the glorious 2002 World Cup squad. The Korea Professional Football League on Thursday announced the list of players who will feature in the match at Seoul World Cup Stadium.
In commemoration of the Korea-Japan World Cup, when Korea made history by advancing to the semifinals, Team 2002 will play Team 2012, made up of this year’s top talent in the K-League as voted by fans.
"I wanted to join in this rare opportunity to play with all my former teammates from the World Cup team, as well as manager Guus Hiddink, for the first time a decade," said Park, who retired from the national side in January 2011.
Park and Hiddink both have a special place in Korean fans' hearts. The Dutch coach also took Park to Holland after the World Cup and signed him for PSV Eindhoven, where he honed the skills that he has put to such devastating use for Manchester United, his current club in the English Premier League.
Many fans thought Park wouldn't be able to play in next week's match due to his pre-season schedule, but he obtained permission after he expressed his strong desire to United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson. He will return to Manchester and join the club from July 9.
Team 2002 will be managed by Hiddink. The squad includes Pohang Steelers' manager Hwang Sun-hong and Olympic team manager Hong Myung-bo. Lee Young-pyo, who plays for Vancouver, and Yoon Jung-hwan, manager of Sagan Tosu in Japan, cannot participate due to the conflicting schedules of their respective teams.
Lee Chun-soo was removed from the roster as he was expelled by the K-League in 2009 for breaching his contract and disobeying coaches, while Dusseldorf’s Cha Du-ri has not confirmed whether he will play.
Team 2012, led by Seongnam manager Shin Tae-yong, will feature Lee Dong-gook of Jeonbuk and Kwak Tae-hwi of Ulsan, among others.