Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has suggested Korean food may be responsible for team-mate Park Ji-Sung’s tireless work rate.
The indefatigable midfielder has become one of manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s most trusted players in big matches over recent seasons, usually given the dual task of driving his team forward with the ball and swarming the opposition without it.
The 30-year-old’s best qualities were once again on show in United’s decisive league victory over title rivals Chelsea at Old Trafford earlier this month, and Evra believes his close friend and colleague’s energy levels might have something to do with his native diet.
"Ji's unbelievable," the Frenchman told MUTV. "I was just laughing when I was watching the game [against Chelsea] when he was running, because it was unbelievable.
"It must be the Korean food. I try to do the same, sometimes I go to his house and eat the same food.
“But [seriously] I think Ji is an example to every player. He runs for everyone. Sometimes if I'm tired I know I'll be OK because Ji will run for me.”
Having already made a significant contribution to the Premier League title run-in, Evra believes Park’s incredible stamina may also have a big role to play when United meet Barcelona in the Champions League Final at Wembley next week.
"I think he's one of the most important players in the team because he doesn't stop running, he can run all day’” he added.
“It's funny because when we reached the [Champions League] final, some fan said, 'Yeah, we're going to win against Barcelona because Ji is going to run all day with Messi.'
"I made some joke with Ji in the dressing room afterwards, saying 'People now think you're a defender'."
By Liam Twomey