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FC Basel's Park eyeing big win over Man Utd

FC Basel defender Park Joo-ho admits he chose the Swiss club so he can play in games like the one against Manchester United on Wednesday night.

The 24-year old South Korean left-back left homeland club Jubilo Iwata to join Basel in June when he could have easily joined German outfit VfB Stuttgart and his decision has been vindicated with the Swiss champions close to qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Basel needs a win over Sir Alex Ferguson's United at St Jakob-Park to progress from Group C and Park is looking forward to the encounter.

"I wanted to play in Europe but more important than going to a big league, I wanted to go to a place where I would be able to play and have a chance to show what I can do," Park told ESPNsoccernet. "And the fact that FC Basel were in the Champions League this season was another reason.

"Of course, it will not be easy. Everyone knows that they are a strong team with lots of experience. Even when we had come back from behind to lead 3-2 (3-3 draw at Old Trafford in September), they didn't seem fazed at all; they kept their heads and kept playing in a composed way.

"They kept going right until the end which was impressive to see. Also impressive was how they use all the space available on the pitch."

And Park said he is looking to emulate one of tomorrow night's opponents, former South Korea captain Park Ji-sung.

"After I have experience in playing in Europe, I admire Park Ji-sung more than ever as he has been succeeding in the big leagues for over eight years," he added.

"Before the game (last time), he said a few words of encouragement to me and after the game he gave me the thumbs-up as if to say 'good job'."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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