National soccer team central defender Park Ji-soo (29) has achieved her dream of advancing to Europe. He joins Portuguese first division Portimonense and challenges the European stage.
On the 26th, Portimonense unveiled five players (including Park Ji-soo) signed during the winter transfer market through the club website. The club did not disclose the terms of Park Ji-soo’s contract. His contract expires in June next year.
In relation to Park Ji-soo’s entry into the Portuguese league, it was known at the joining press conference that former soccer team coach Paulo Bento served as a bridge. Park Ji-soo said, “Because Bento is from Portugal, I thought he was familiar with (the Portuguese league).” He said thank you.”
Portimonense is ranked 12th out of 18 teams in the Portuguese Primera Liga (first division) this season. The defense is in a shaky situation, such as conceding 10 goals in the last 5 games, so if Park Ji-soo shows competitiveness, there is a good chance of playing as a starter.
Portimonense is a team that made its name known to domestic fans in 2021 when Lee Seung-woo (Suwon FC) briefly worked as a rental player. Currently, under-20 soccer team striker Kim Yong-hak and Japanese goalkeeper Kosuke Nakamura are active. Coach Paulo Sergio has experience leading club teams in the United Arab Emirates, Iran and Saudi Arabia. The fact that he has a high understanding of Asian football is also a positive aspect for Park Ji-soo. 메이저놀이터
Park Ji-soo said, “Watching the video of Portimonense’s game, I got the impression that it is a team that can switch between offense and defense quickly.” There were love calls from various leagues, including the Chinese team that offered a huge salary, as well as Turkiye, but Park Ji-soo chose Portimonense in consideration of his loyalty to coach Bento.
Park Ji-soo, who has experience playing in the 4th division, is a competitive player who was selected for the national soccer team after hard work. In 2013, he joined Incheon United in the K League 1, but was released the following year after failing to play a single game and wore a uniform for Uijeongbu FC belonging to the K3 League (4th division at the time). He was frustrated enough to consider his retirement, but after continuing the challenge without giving up, he returned to the professional stage in 2015 by joining Gyeongnam FC (second division). After that, he led Gyeongnam’s promotion to the first division in 2017, and the following year, coach Bento caught the eye and was selected for the national soccer team.
Expectations for joining the final roster ahead of the Qatar World Cup were high, but he injured his ankle during the final A match against Iceland and was unable to board the plane to Qatar. However, he was able to advance to the European leagues before his fellow players who took the stage of the World Cup finals. As Park Ji-soo advanced to the Portuguese stage, Korean soccer has two European center backs along with Kim Min-jae (27, Naples), who is active in Italy.