It’s hard enough as it is chasing Paul Scholes around Carrington, without language, cultural and climatic vagaries to cope with, too.
Japanese attacker Shinji Kagawa is the latest foreign star to join Manchester United, but he can take comfort in the knowledge that plenty of others have done the same and been hugely successful.
One of them, of course, is South Korea international Ji-sung Park, who arrived at Old Trafford in summer 2005. Here, in an interview conducted with the no.13 in 2010, Ji recalls how he settled into life at Manchester United.
Was it difficult leaving your own country behind and travelling somewhere new?
It can be nerve-wracking, but if you want to play at a high level you have to leave your country. I was 19 when I left South Korea to go to Japan, which obviously wasn’t too far away. I was happy to move at that stage because I wanted to experience a different culture and style of football. Then I came to Europe. There are so many great players here and I wanted to know why they’re so good.
What about joining United? Was that daunting?
When I joined the first training session I looked around and saw all the players I used to watch on TV. I was like, ‘Can I play with these players?’ It was weird. I was confident in my ability, but it was just strange to be alongside these players. There were moments in training, like making a good pass or scoring a goal, that built my confidence.
Can you remember how you felt during your first day at the club?
I felt everything, especially when I walked in for the first time. After I