World Cup 2014: South Korea coach hopes he can persuade former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-sung to return

The 32-year-old now plays for PSV

South Korea football coach Hong Myong-bo said he's planning to lobby former Manchester United star Park Ji-sung to return to the national team to play in this year's World Cup, Korean media reported Wednesday.

The 32-year-old Park, now with PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch league, ended his international career after leading South Korea to the semifinals of the Asian Cup in January 2011. He has said repeatedly since then through representatives that he has no intention of returning to the international game.

Hong said, however, he wants to hear it directly from Park.

"I have only heard through people surrounding Park Ji-sung that will not play for the national team," Hong said.

Hong was Park's captain when South Korea reached the semifinals of the 2002 World Cup and was appointed to the national team coaching position in July. The former defender is searching for experience to compliment what is expected to be one of the youngest squads to play in the World Cup in June.

South Korea has been drawn to play Belgium, Russia and Algeria in Group H.

"We need some older players," Hong said, using the 2010 World Cup team led by Park as an example. "That team was a good combination of youth and experience."

Hong said last week that he was certain of 80 percent of his final 23 players, leaving Korean media to speculate as to who is in contention for the available five or six spots.

The team heads to Brazil later this month for an eight-day training camp before traveling to the United States for warm-up games against the U.S., Mexico and Costa Rica.

Park, who has played in the three World Cups, left Manchester United in the summer of 2012 after seven seasons to make an ill-fated move to Queens Park Rangers. After the team's relegation from the English Premier League, Park was loaned to PSV Eindhoven, the team he joined in 2003.

AP

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test