Ex-Dortmund left back joins Korean club Ulsan

By Yonhap
  • Published : Dec 18, 2017 - 13:16
  • Updated : Dec 18, 2017 - 16:15

South Korean football club Ulsan Hyundai FC said Monday they've signed former Borussia Dortmund left back Park Joo-ho.

The K League Classic club said they've agreed to terms with Park, although his transfer will be fully completed after the 30-year-old finishes a medical test. 

"We've acquired the versatile player Park Joo-ho who had stints in Japan, Switzerland and Germany," Ulsan said. "He is a proven veteran who can play as left back and defensive midfielder."

Ulsan, which finished fourth in the league, offered him a four-year contract, according to the club's general manager Kim Kwang-kook.

"Park is going to make our team stronger, but also he is a player who can bring football fever to the city of Ulsan," he said. "Park has already proven his talent. We believe he can also show his skills with Ulsan, so that's why we offered him a four-year contract."

In this file photo taken June 5, 2017, South Korea national football team left back Park Joo-ho speaks to reporters before training in the United Arab Emirates. (Yonhap)

Park was released by German Bundesliga giants Dortmund earlier this month. He joined Dortmund from fellow German club Mainz in 2015 on a transfer fee of 3 million euros ($3.52 million) but failed to impress. He played only 712 minutes in 11 matches after signing a three-year deal with the club.

"Ulsan have a good reputation, and they offered me a good deal," Park said through his new South Korean club. "I had lots of thoughts, but Ulsan gave me trust, so that's why I decided to join them."

If the deal is completed, Park will make his K League debut with Ulsan. He began his pro career with Japanese side Mito Hollyhock in 2008 after graduating from Soongsil University in Seoul. He then went on to play for Kashima Antlers and Jubilo Iwata before going to Europe.

"Every player says that the K League isn't easy because it plays one of the high pressing games in Asia," he said. "It doesn't matter where I played before. I first need to know the characteristics of the league and adjust to Ulsan's style of play."

Park, who also played with Switzerland side FC Basel, has so far earned 32 caps for South Korea. This year, however, he only received an international call-up once, and while the Taeguk Warriors reached the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Park featured in only one World Cup qualifying match.

"I think the national team door is open to anyone, but you don't earn a selection just because you played for South Korea before," he said. "If I can play a good game and help Ulsan earn good results, national team selection opportunities will follow." (Yonhap)