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S. Korean defender Park Ji-su signs with Portuguese club Portimonense

09:26 January 26, 2023

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korean international defender Park Ji-su has signed with the Portuguese club Portimonense.

The club unveiled Park as one of their five new signings on Thursday. Park, 28, is the second South Korean on the team, alongside the 19-year-old winger Kim Yong-hak.

Park made his club debut with Incheon United in the K League 1 in 2013 and also had a stint with the Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande starting in 2019.

South Korean defender Park Ji-su (L) poses with his four new teammates for Portimonense after signing with the Portuguese club, in this photo captured from Portimonense's Twitter page. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Park spent the past two seasons with the South Korean military club Gimcheon Sangmu FC. He was discharged in December and became a free agent.

Park has earned 14 caps for South Korea. He had been considered for the national team for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in November but suffered an ankle injury in a friendly match against Iceland just before the World Cup squad was announced.

Park played all 14 international matches under South Korea's former Portuguese coach, Paulo Bento. Park said at his introductory press conference that Bento had put in a good word for him.

"I was familiar with Portugal, with Bento being from the country and having also played in this league," Park said. "And I heard he had spoken with Portimonense coach (Paulo Sergio). I appreciate that."

Park is the second South Korean center back in top European competition, joining Napoli's defensive stalwart Kim Min-jae.

Portimonense are currently in 12th place among 18 teams in the Primeira Liga with 20 points from six wins, two draws and nine losses. They have conceded 21 goals in 17 matches so far.

In this file photo from Nov. 11, 2022, Park Ji-su of South Korea (L) makes a pass during a men's football friendly match against Iceland at Hwaseong Sports Complex Main Stadium in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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