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

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?