Park Ji-sung admitted it was a tough decision to leave Manchester United after joining Queen's Park Rangers, but said it was time for a "new challenge". The 31-year-old South Korea international brought a seven-year spell at Old Trafford to an end yesterday by joining Rangers for an undisclosed fee believed to be £5 million.
Park, signed by Sir Alex Ferguson from PSV Eindhoven in 2005, made 203 appearances for United, scoring 27 goals and winning four Premier League titles, three League Cups and the Champions League in 2008.
But the midfielder has opted to move to QPR, who escaped relegation on the final day of last season, despite other offers from England, Europe and the Far East. "It was a very difficult decision, it's hard to leave such a big club, but QPR showed me what they are trying to be," he said. "It is time for a new challenge.
"QPR want to be a bigger club, they want to improve and it's a great challenge. It was a difficult decision but they have great players and they are hungry to get to the next level. It's not about the money. I am joining a club that is very much on an upward curve, a club that has a very bright future.
"The manager Mark Hughes has a proven track record at Premier League level and I am looking forward to working with him and the rest of the squad to help take the club to the next level."
Park is Rangers' sixth signing of the summer, joining Ryan Nelsen, Andrew Johnson, Robert Green, Samba Diakite and former Old Trafford team-mate Fabio at Loftus Road.
The ambitious club claimed Park's signing would "put the QPR brand on a global scale", heading up their attempts to break into the Asian market. Hughes said: "On a football level Ji is someone I have admired from afar for years.
"He wore the red shirt of Manchester United in a distinguished way and he will bring a great deal to the team, I can't wait to start working with him.
"Ji is a motivated guy, he feels there is success ahead of him, he ticks every box. It's a very exciting time for QPR. He's very adept in a number of positions. What he brings to the team is technical ability, a huge work ethic and a winning mentality."