22/02/2013 09:00, Report by Gemma Thompson
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Shinji relishes return

Shinji Kagawa has spoken of his joy at returning to his homeland during United's Tour 2013 presented by Aon.

As well as visiting Sydney and Hong Kong during their summer training trip, the Reds will also play two games in Kagawa's native Japan.

The 23-year-old looks set for a busy summer with Japan taking part in the Confederations Cup in June. He will join up with the squad in his homeland, although the date of when that will be is dependent upon Japan's progress in the competition.

Yokohama F·Marinos will provide the opposition in the first match on 23 July in Yokohama, with a second match scheduled for 26 July against Kagawa's former club Cerezo Osaka in Osaka.

“Cerezo Osaka is the team where I laid groundwork as a professional footballer. It is the club who took care of me before I left for Europe," recalled Shinji in an interview with "It is a place where I spent my first days as a professional football player. In that sense, Osaka is my favourite city."

While the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama - the location for United's tour match in the city - evokes special memories for the Reds who won the Club World Cup there in 2008, it's also a favourite with Kagawa who has played there for his country many times.

“I have played at the stadium in Yokohama often with the Japan national team and I have scored a goal there, too. It is my favourite stadium because the atmosphere is also good," he adds. "Yokohama is a beautiful city on the sea. I think everyone will like it.”

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