Another ‘European’ central defender (center back) was born in Korean soccer. National team defender Park Ji-soo (29) joined Portimonense of the Portuguese league.
The Portimonense club announced on its homepage on the 26th (Korean time) that it had recruited five players, including Park Ji-soo.
Portimonense did not disclose the contract period, but according to local media, Park Ji-su is known to have signed a contract for 1 year and 6 months until next summer.
As Park Ji-soo entered the Portuguese stage, Korean soccer has two center backs who play in major European leagues.
Previously, Kim Min-jae (27) moved to the Turkish league in the summer of 2021 and joined Napoli of Italy’s “big league” Serie A ahead of this season, following his first appearance on the European stage.
Former national team coach Paulo Bento, who directed Korea’s advance to the round of 16 at the 2022 Qatar World Cup, laid a ‘bridge’ between Portimonense and Park Ji-soo.
Park Ji-soo said at the press conference that he joined, “I was familiar with Bento because he was a Portuguese league player and his nationality was Portugal.” said.
Park Ji-soo was consistently selected for the national team ahead of the Qatar World Cup, but had the misfortune of not being able to go to Qatar due to an ankle injury in an evaluation match with Iceland right before the final list was announced.
However, Bento, who had a good view of Park Ji-soo, helped him to go to Europe, and it became a ‘telephone blessing’ to some extent.
This is Park Ji-soo’s first time on the European stage.
He started his career as a professional in Incheon, K League 1, passed through Gyeongnam FC and made his first overseas advance by joining Guangzhou Hengda (now Guangzhou FC) in China in 2019.
Then, he returned to the K-League to serve in the military at Kimcheon Sangmu, played for Suwon FC and Sangmu as a rental, and became a free agent (FA) this winter. 스포츠토토
Portimonense’s defense is unstable, with 10 runs in the last 5 games in the official game, so Park Ji-soo is expected to be given ample opportunities.
Portimonense is currently in 12th place (20 points) out of 18 teams in the Primeira Liga (first division).
Living with Asian players such as striker Kim Yong-hak and Japanese goalkeeper Nakamura Kosuke of the U-20 (under 20) national team is expected to help Park Ji-soo adapt to the new team.
Portimonense is a club that has not a small relationship with Korean football, such as striker Lee Seung-woo’s brief stay in 2021.
Park Ji-soo said, “Korean players come and go (to Portimonense) a lot. I looked up the game on YouTube, and the offense and defense switching is very fast.”