Park Ji-sung decided to join QPR when he was told he could emulate Mark Hughes’ achievements after the Rangers manager’s own move from Manchester United to west London.
The South Korean star admitted it had been a “tough decision” to exit Old Trafford after seven years with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, during which he won four Premier League titles and the Champions League.
But Hughes was able to draw upon his own experience as a player, having himself left United for Chelsea – where he enjoyed continued success.
Hughes explained: “When I left United it was a similar story. Chelsea were mid-table and it was a time when expectations for success were quite low.
“But I came and the likes of Ruud Gullit and Gianluca Vialli came around the same time, and we won our [Chelsea’s] first trophy for a long period.
“I was able to tell that story to Ji. It’s a big step to leave Manchester United. I’ve been through it and it’s important to understand that when you leave United it’s not about going downwards, it’s about having another challenge.
“That’s how I approached it and, as a consequence, when I left United I was able to win three more trophies. So you should never think that when you leave United your career’s over.
“We’ve brought Ji here to be a part of something very special. And he’s going to be here at the beginning – like I was when I left United for Chelsea.
“We want him to make his mark here and be part of a team that makes history for Queens Park Rangers.”
That did much to persuade Park, 31, to make the move to Loftus Road despite Ferguson making it clear he did not want him to leave.
“It helped me come to a decision to come to QPR. He [Hughes] explained to me his own story, and it’s great feeling that you will have a challenge,” said Park.
“It’s not over, leaving United. My career is still going and I can still do some other things.”
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