Park Chu-young joins Ulsan Hyundai

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Park Chu-young poses for a photo wearing an Ulsan Hyundai uniform after Ulsan Hyundai announced on Sunday that Park would join the club. [YONHAP]

Park Chu-young, who parted ways with FC Seoul on December 28 after playing with the club for 10 years, has signed with Ulsan Hyundai.

Ulsan Hyundai announced on Sunday that Park has signed a contract with the club. Park’s contract with the Seoul club expired at the end of the 2021 season and Seoul had hoped to bring him back as a coach. Park, however, felt like he wasn’t done on the court.

Before Seoul announced Park’s departure, Park himself announced on December 15 on social media that he intended to leave, revealing that after three meetings with the club he had been offered, and turned down a job as a youth club coach.

Park joined FC Seoul in 2005 and quickly became a franchise star, winning the Rookie of the Year award after scoring 18 goals. Park’s performances with the national team and club Seoul for four seasons led him to a career overseas. He joined AS Monaco in Ligue 1 in 2008 where he played until 2011. Later that year Premier League club Arsenal signed Park and, after spells in France, England, Spain and in Saudi Arabia, Park returned to FC Seoul.

After playing 10 years with the Seoul club, the 37-year-old striker’s move to Ulsan appears to be partly down to his close relationship with Ulsan head coach Hong Myung-bo, which dates back to the Games Guangzhou Asians in 2010 and the London Olympics in 2012. and the 2014 Brazil World Cup, when Park played in the national team under Hong.

With the Taeguk Warriors, Park scored 24 goals in 68 games. He participated in three World Cups: in 2006, 2010 and 2014. He also won a bronze medal at the London Olympics in 2012, scoring the winning goal in the bronze medal match against Japan.

“I want to become a better version of myself at my new club and my new city,” Park said. “I hope to fit in well with the team and play to achieve Ulsan’s goal for 2022.”

Park will begin training with Ulsan in Geoje, South Gyeongsang.

BY YUN SO-HYANG [yun.sohyang@joongang.co.kr]

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