South Korea Star Ji-Sung Park: Lull Phase At Asian Cup Has Put Pressure On Us

South Korea's Ji-Sung Park can't wait to face Iran in the quarter-finals...
Not having won the Asian Cup for more than 40 years has certainly added pressure on the current crop of South Korean players as their skipper Ji-Sung Park acknowledged.

In the slogan unveiled by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for the team buses, the Korean one reads, 'Return of the King, Pride of Asia!' despite them being unsuccessful in their bid to lift the coveted trophy.

“There is a little bit of pressure on us as everyone thinks Korea are the strongest in Asia and we haven’t won much at the Asian Cup for a long time,” Park told's Rahul Bali.

“We are ready and want to win for our players, staff and fans of course,” he added.

During the tournament, the Manchester United star had mentioned that he would like to avoid Iran in the quarter-finals but having drawn the same opponents, the 29-year-old showed no signs of reluctance to face them.

“Iran are a physically strong side and they work hard. They have quite a lot of players who play in Europe. Iran and Korea have always had a different style of football. It will be a great game and a clash of styles,” he stated.

The legendary player is set to make his 100th appearance for the Taegeuk Warriors if they do manage to beat Iran.

“Yeah, obviously it will be a great honour to play the 100th game for the national team in a major tournament,” he said.

An area which could bother the Koreans is their defence as they have conceded three goals in as many matches, with two of them being spot-kicks conceded by Kwak Tae Hwi.

“It’s just our mistakes. I think upfront we have been playing the ball well. We have to be aware of our mistakes and avoid errors in the future matches,” said the former PSV Eindhoven player.

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