and a player. I expected that to happen, from playing with the world’s best players in training to being involved with matches, it was how I thought it would be.
Was there anything you found particularly difficult or surprising?
The most difficult thing is being away from my family and friends. Other European players can pop home because the flight is only two or three hours long. It’s a long way to my country, which doesn’t help my friends, especially when they can usually only take two weeks off from work. Also, because I play at weekends, and often in the week, I only get two days off here and there, which isn’t enough time for me to go back to Korea. I’m used to it, but it’s hard.
Was the language barrier a big problem for you?
Ruud van Nistelrooy was here when I joined and he had played for PSV, made the same move to United and spoke a language I knew, so being able to talk to him in Dutch helped me feel more comfortable. Still, it is very different learning English in Holland and then coming here and speaking to the natives, especially with all the accents, including the gaffer! Now, I just use English. I’d like the people to speak Korean, but Patrice is the only one who knows any words.
How easy was it to settle in?
I found that the first time I met the players and members of staff, they were very warm towards me. They helped me a lot, so it made it easy to join in and get used to the lifestyle. People were quick to recommend good Chinese and Korean restaurants.
Do you tend to help the young foreign lads?
I like to try to help them because I know how much it meant to me to have people help me settle when I came here.
What do you miss most from home?
I can get a lot of things here. I can get Korean food and watch television programmes I’d watch back home on the internet. I keep up with the news back home, especially the football. For me, the worst thing is not being able to see your friends and family, but my family are usually stay for a few months when they do come. I also have friends here who can pop over for a cup of tea. I email and call my friends, but it can be hard because of the nine-hour time difference.
What’s the best thing you’ve discovered about England or Manchester?
I don’t like to go out too much. I’d rather stay at