Butt backs Park to be Champion against Barca
Park Ji-Sung could play a key role for Manchester United in their Champions League final against Barcelona, according to former Old Trafford favourite Nicky Butt.sports Updated: May 22, 2011 09:03 IST
Park Ji-Sung could play a key role for Manchester United in their Champions League final against Barcelona, according to former Old Trafford favourite Nicky Butt.
When United won the 1999 Champions Leagie final Butt, with Paul Scholes and Roy Keane both suspended, Butt was at the heart of United's midfield.
Now he expects Park to be at the heart of United's attempts to disrupt the flowing football of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi when they face Spanish giants Barcelona at Wembley on Saturday.
"Park has had a phenomenal season," said Butt. "He had that injury after coming back from the Asian Cup but since then he has been outstanding.
"His athleticism is amazing. He can break up play and gives the simple passes," Butt added. "But he also has the energy to get forward and scores the odd important goal.
"He is one of those players that are so difficult to play against because he is non-stop.
"Clearly they have outstanding players of their own, but Barcelona will not like playing against Park."
Butt, recently back from a brief stint playing in Hong Kong, will return to Old Trafford on Tuesday to take part in Gary Neville's testimonial match.
And he insisted he had no regrets at no longer being a United player.
"My memories will always stay with me," he said. "But my time has gone now. It is for others to enjoy.
"I am loving United doing so well and being such a power in the Champions League. This is three finals in four years, which is something not many sides have done.
"I know how they are feeling. I just hope they can do themselves justice next weekend."
United were beaten by Barcelona in the Champions League final two years ago and Butt said: "That is the worst feeling of all," said Butt.
"If you lose a game believing you have done everything possible to win, it is quite easy to deal with.
"But if you don't perform in any game, but especially a big one, thoughts roll around in your mind about what you could have done differently. It really is hard to accept."
Neville's testimonial match is set to feature 'the Class of 92' the celebrated United youth team, most of whom became key figures in the senior side, that included David Beckham - also set to play on Tuesday.
"It will be fantastic to be back on the same pitch again," said Butt.
"We keep in touch but I don't think we ever thought we would play together.
"Hopefully it will be a great night for Gary. He would be the first to admit he never had the ability of Beckham or Scholes but, a bit like myself, he worked very hard to get the best from the talent he did have and you would always wish to have him alongside you when the chips were down."
First Published: May 22, 2011 09:00 IST