Another European faction was born. ‘National team defender’ Park Ji-soo (29) advances to the Portuguese Primera Liga.
An official familiar with the European transfer market said, “Park Ji-soo is moving to Portimonense in the Portuguese first division. The contract period is one and a half years, and an announcement will be made soon.” According to this official, Park Ji-soo has now moved to Portugal and has completed a medical test. When the final signing is completed, Park Ji-soo will become the ninth Korean player to cross the stage in Portugal.
Park Ji-soo was one of the hidden big fish in this transfer market. Park Ji-soo, who completed his military service by discharging Gimcheon Sangmu in December, obtained a free agent (FA) status as his original team, Guangzhou FC, suffered financial difficulties. In an era when high-quality center backs are rare, many teams showed interest when an active national team defender came to the market as a free agent. K-League teams, as well as overseas such as China and the Middle East, sent love calls. Huge offers followed. 안전놀이터
Meanwhile, calls came from Europe. Turkiye and Portugal showed interest in recruiting Park Ji-soo. Instead of the Asian stage, which promised a huge amount, it turned to Europe, which was a dream. Portimonense, who was looking for a defender, was active. Former coach Paulo Bento also actively recommended it. Park Ji-soo, who had a dream of a big league, chose to challenge Europe without delay, and among them, he chose the Portuguese stage.
Park Ji-soo is a positional player. Park Ji-soo, who joined Incheon United in 2013 amid much anticipation as a native of Incheon youth, suffered a shock release without being able to play a single game. Park Ji-soo, who wandered to the point of considering his retirement, wore the FC Uijeongbu uniform of the K3 League, which corresponds to the 4th division in 2014. Park Ji-soo, who showed potential, moved to Gyeongnam FC in 2015 and returned to the K-League. Park Ji-su, who immediately became the nucleus of Gyeongnam’s defense, led the team’s promotion in 2017 and was selected as the K-League 2 Best 11.
His 2018 performance was in full bloom. In particular, the ceremony of resentment after scoring the winning goal against Incheon drew a lot of attention. Park Ji-soo, who was also fierce in the K-League 1, boarded the Bento with a surprise card at the time. In recognition of his performance, he transferred to Guangzhou Hengda, which had left Kim Young-kwon at the time. The transfer fee alone exceeded 2 billion won. Park Ji-soo showed a good appearance in China, led the team to victory, and steadily posted his name on the national team.
He came on a short-term loan to Suwon FC for military service in 2021, but it did not live up to expectations, such as experiencing an incident where he was sent off for two consecutive games due to continued misjudgment and then revived as a follow-up penalty. Park Ji-soo, who joined Gimcheon Sangmu for military service in June, was a defender who was still attracting attention as a wild card in the Tokyo Olympics. In 2022, he showed the best performance in Gimcheon and was on the verge of boarding the final entry for the World Cup in Qatar, but he also tasted the misfortune of failing to participate in the World Cup due to a serious injury in which an ankle ligament was ruptured in the last evaluation match against Iceland.
However, he succeeded in entering Europe and became a blessing in disguise. Coincidentally, Celtic’s Oh Hyun-kyu and Park Ji-soo, who succeeded in advancing overseas after the World Cup, have one thing in common: they were frustrated at the threshold of the finals. Oh Hyun-kyu was named in the reserve entry and played an active role as the 27th player.
Portimonense has a relationship with a Korean player. In February 2021, Lee Seung-woo, who did not get a chance at Sint Trawidon at the time, was loaned out and played. Lee Seung-woo only played in 4 games at the time. Currently, 19-year-old striker Kim Yong-hak is playing. Kim Yong-hak is the ace of the U-20 national team, and Portimonense is also paying attention. In addition to Korean players, Asian players played quite a bit, and Japan’s Nakajima Shoya, who boasted the highest transfer fee in Asia, played the role of an ace at Portimonense. Not only Japanese players such as Shuichi Gonda and Koki Anzai, but also Safawi Rashid from Malaysia played for Portimonense.
Founded in 1914, Portimonense is a mid-level team that goes back and forth between the first and second divisions. Portimonense, who won the championship in the 2016-2017 season Segundari (second division) and was promoted, is steadily putting his body into the first division. Last season finished 13th. Portimonense, which is in 12th place as of the 17th round of this season, is said to be somewhat unstable in defense, although Portugal’s Filipe Reubas and Brazil’s Pedrand are guarding the center. Park Ji-soo is in a situation where he can aim for a starter leap. The fact that coach Paulo Sergio, who has worked as a manager in the United Arab Emirates, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, and has a high understanding of Asian players, is leading the team is a good thing for Park Ji-soo.