Park Chu-young's popularity with the Korean public was sparked by his success at the AFC Youth Championship 2004 where he led the U20 Korean national team to a record-breaking 11th title. In the process, he won the Golden Ball Award and was chosen Most Valuable Player of the tournament. He was also capped for the South Korea under-20 team at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship.
The country's hysteria for the player grew even more wildly when Korea's under-20 squad participated in the Qatar eight-team invitational in January 2004. Park scored two against China, three against Ukraine, two against Algeria, and two against Japan as Korea won the tournament. Park was named the Asian Young Footballer of the Year by the Asian Football Confederation.
Park also participated in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, where he scored a goal from a free kick against Nigeria.
In February 2005, Park joined the K League, where he signed with FC Seoul with highest salary as rookie player
In Park's first season, he scored in second appearance. Eventually, he scored 18 goals and gave 4 assists in 30 appearances (including League Cup matches), earning him the K League Rookie of the Year award by common consent and its first time in K League history. and becoming top scorer of the competition. He became FC Seoul's club icon.
After the 2006 FIFA World Cup, it was expected by Korean supporters that Park would re-find his best form while playing in the K League, but this was not the case, as he only scored 8 goals and 1 assist in 30 appearances (including cup matches) during the 2006 season.
Later on in 2006, he joined the South Korea Olympic football team for the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, where he had a great start by scoring 2 goals against Bangladesh. But after this game, he failed to find the net for the rest of the tournament. South Korea lost to Iraq in the controversial semi-final match and were also unable to beat Iran in the third-place match, which resulted in South Korea being left without medals for the first time in many years.
Just as the 2007 K League kicked off, Park began the season by scoring 10 goals in 11 matches (including Cup games). But soon he was hampered by an on and off foot injury that he sustained during the regular season. Due to the injury he was placed in the reserves for the South Korea national team for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, but he did not recover from injury in time, nor were any of the forwards picked for the South Korea national football team injured or underperformed at the training camp or friendly matches, which resulted in a cut from the South Korea national football team for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup. Also during his injury, he missed the FC Seoul game with Manchester United of the Premier League. This proved to be significant as FC Seoul were shut out during the game 4–0, and could have used the influence of their star striker.
Returning from his foot injury, he played in the qualification rounds for the 2008 Olympic Games, in which South Korea secured a place by drawing 0–0 with Bahrain on 27 November 2007.
After impressive performances in the national and Olympic team squads, Park completed a move to AS Monaco on 1 September 2008. On 13 September, he scored on his debut against FC Lorient in the 26th minute. In the 2nd half, he assisted his teammate Frédéric Nimani's goal before being substituted. The game ended 2–0, and Park was named as the Man of the Match. In his first season at Monaco, he went on to make 31 appearance, scoring five times.
In his second season at Monaco, Park scored three goals in the first half of the season. On 30 January 2010, Park signed a three-year contract with Monaco that would keep him until 2013. Despite having three injuries during the season, Park remained on the first team, as he scored eight goals in twenty-seven appearance.
His last season at Monaco gave him mixed results. Park scored five goals in the first half of the season. But then, after scoring against Sochaux, Park celebrated, which resulted him injuring his right knee and kept him out for four weeks. On 13 February 2011, Park scored his seventh goal of the season in a 3–1 win over FC Lorient. Thirteen days later, Park scored a brace in a 2–2 home draw over SM Caen. He made a good display in the 2010–11 season, scoring twelve league goals, the club, however, was relegated to Ligue 2 after finishing 18th place in the league.
The relegation led Park to announce his desire to leave Monaco to play in a competitive league. This was followed up by the club, who stated they wouldn't stand in Park's way from leaving the club.
In somewhat strange circumstances on 30 August 2011, English Premier League club Arsenal signed Park. It is believed Chu-Young became aware of Arsenal's interest and departed his hotel room without finishing a medical with the Ligue 1 club Lille OSC. He was given the number 9 shirt. On 1 November, Chu-young started his first UEFA Champions League match, a 0–0 draw against French outfit Marseille. He scored his first goal for Arsenal in the fourth round of the Football League Cup against Bolton Wanderers on 25 October 2011 giving them a 2–1 win. He made his league debut for Arsenal as a substitute, 82 minutes into a 2–1 home defeat by Manchester United, on 22 January 2012.
On 6 March 2012, he made an appearance as a substitute for Theo Walcott in the Champions League, in the 3–0 win against Milan at the Emirates Stadium, though Milan won 4–3 on aggregate.
On 8 August 2012, it was confirmed that the forward had been reassigned the number 30 shirt, with new signing Lukas Podolski taking over the number 9. Following a loan spell at Celta Vigo, Park was advised by newly national coach Hong Myung-bo to leave the club if Park was to remain in the national team.
Park did not play a game for Arsenal for another 14 months until 30 October 2013 when he came on as a substitute for Aaron Ramsey on the 81st minute against Chelsea in the League Cup. Arsenal lost the game 2–0. Although there was a discussion of a possible loan move to Wigan Athletic, the deal never materialized.
From that point forward, Park did not make any further appearance in the league with the first team. Park was released by the club on a free transfer on 30 June 2014. As a result of his flop at Arsenal, Daily Telegraph reporter John Duerden would compare Park move to Arsenal as "the worst call to answer since Colin Farrell picked up a New York public phone in Phone Booth and endured a few hours of misery."
Amidst reported interest from Blackburn Rovers and Al Hilal and rumours of being linked to Nottingham Forest, on 31 August 2012, Park moved to Celta de Vigo on a season-long loan from Arsenal for the 2012–13 La Liga season. He was given the number 18 shirt. On 22 September 2012, he scored his first goal in his home debut in a 2–1 victory over Getafe, becoming the first South Korean player ever to score a goal in La Liga. Park would then score two more goals against Mallorca and Deportivo in the Galician derby. Park would injure his right foot, which put him the end to this season and went on to score three goals in twenty one appearance.
On 31 January 2014, Park was loaned to Championship side Watford for the remainder of the 2013–14 season. Park made his Watford debut as a 90th-minute substitute for Fernando Forestieri in the 2–0 win against Brighton on 2 February 2014 and then made his first start for Watford in a 2–0 away loss against Bolton Wanderers on 22 February 2014 before he came off in the second half. However, Park only made two appearance for the club after sustaining injuries with thigh and toe.
Despite his intention to stay in Europe after being released by Arsenal, Park joined Saudi Arabian side Al-Shabab on 1 October 2014, signing a one-year contract. Park scored on his debut, in a 1–0 victory against Al-Hilal on 17 October 2014.
Park returned to FC Seoul on 10 March 2015. On 6 November 2016, he scored the only goal for FC Seoul in a 1–0 away victory against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the final round of the season, helping his team to win the 2016 league title.
On 17 June 2010, Park scored an own goal in a 4–1 defeat to Argentina at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. However, Park redeemed himself in Korea's next match against Nigeria by scoring a crucial free kick in a 2–2 draw, allowing the South Korea to advance to the round of 16. In the round of 16, Park's free kick just before halftime struck the left goal post. A late goal from Luis Suárez put Uruguay on top. The final score was 2–1 to Uruguay who then advanced to the quarter-finals in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, eliminating South Korea.
Park, along with Kim Jung-woo, was called to the U-23 team to participate in the 2010 Asian Games held in Guangzhou. The team was led by former national team captain Hong Myung-bo. Park did not play in the first game against North Korea, which ended in a 0–1 loss. He came off the bench in the next game against Jordan, which South Korea won 4–0. He started the last group game against Palestine, in which he scored the second goal in the 3–0 victory before being substituted. South Korea advanced to the knockout round, having finished second place in Group C with six points. In their next match against China, Park played the entire game, scoring a goal in the 50th minute to help South Korea to a 3–0 win. In the quarterfinal match against Uzbekistan, Park was once again influential in leading Korea to victory. Park scored his third goal of the tournament a few minutes into the first period of extra time, after the teams played to a 1–1 draw in normal time. South Korea eventually won the game 3–1, and Park was substituted in the 108th minute. Although Park played in the semifinal match against UAE, he was unable to find the net and South Korea lost 0–1 after UAE scored in the last minute of extra time. In the bronze medal game against Iran, Park scored his fourth goal of the tournament. With South Korea trailing 3–1, Park tapped in the ball from a cross to bring the score to 3–2. South Korea eventually won 4–3 to secure the bronze medal, with two goals from Ji Dong-won.
Although Park had been listed on the roster for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, he was unable to participate due to an injury and was replaced on the roster by Ji Dong-won. Following the tournament, he was named captain of the national team to replace the retiring Park Ji-sung. But in 2012, newly appointed head coach Choi Kang-hee named Lee Jung-soo as captain of the national side, replacing Park Chu-young.
In October 2011, Park announced that in two years time he had to leave Arsenal to do military service for his country, which may have delayed his football career. Then the following year in March, South Korea's Military Manpower Administration announced that Park could delayed his military service until 2022 because of his residency in Europe. Park's decision to delay his military service was controversial and caused public criticism. This lead an apology from Park, though this allowed him to participate in the London Olympic Games.
Park was selected as an over-aged player by the South Korea under-23 manager Hong Myung-bo for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Park scored the opening goal in the second group stage match against Switzerland. In the bronze Medal match against Japan, Park Chu-young scored the first goal in a 2–0 victory against their rivals.
Despite not playing regular first-team football for several years, Park was included in the South Korea national squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He played in the matches against Russia and Algeria. His performances were heavily criticized, particularly because he registered no shots on target in either match. He was replaced by Kim Shin-wook for the team's final match against Belgium. However, it was later revealed that the manager of the team, Hong Myung-bo, told him not to take shots but to open up space for offensive midfielders and make runs to score. Ultimately South Korea performed poorly, and star players Koo Ja-cheol and Son Heung-min particularly did not perform well in the manager's set-up.As of 20 September 2017
Note: Two goals in a match against Poland on 7 October 2011 are excluded from the list, because the match was not recognized as official due to substitutes regulations (seven substitutes were used in this match).FC Seoul
K League Classic: 2016
Korean FA Cup: 2015
Korean League Cup: 2006
South Korea U19
AFC Youth Championship: 2004
South Korea U23
Olympics Bronze medal: 2012
Asian Games: 2010 – Bronze
EAFF East Asian Cup (1): 2008
Asian Young Footballer of the Year: 2004
K League Rookie of the Year: 2005
K League Best XI: 2005
Park is a Christian. Park writes Jesus Christ next to his autograph and has spoken about his faith saying, "The first and main reason why I play football is to evangelise people."