Shinji Kagawa celebrates for United.

Goal of the Day: K is for Kagawa

Tuesday 09 June 2020 15:16

In at 'K' in our A-Z Goal of the Day series is Shinji Kagawa, who made a sizeable impact in his short stint as a Manchester United player.

One of Sir Alex Ferguson's final signings as United boss, Shinji became a Red in the summer of 2012, as the boss bolstered his squad with the aim of returning the Premier League trophy to Old Trafford.

The Japanese would score six goals in his debut campaign, including a hat-trick against Norwich City. His third goal against the Canaries, a delightful chip over the helpless Mark Bunn, can be viewed below...

Goal of the Day: Kagawa v Norwich Video

Goal of the Day: Kagawa v Norwich

K is for Kagawa and Shinji’s third in his hat-trick against Norwich is today’s Goal of the Day…


A highly talented youngster, Kagawa signed with Cerezo Osaka at the age of 17, and would go on to be the club's top scorer in the 2009 J.League Division 2, as the club secured promotion to the top flight of Japanese football.

In the summer of 2010, Borussia Dortmund came calling and Kagawa made the journey from the far east to Signal Iduna Park. The Japanese spent two seasons with the Black and Yellows, scoring 24 goals as Jurgen Klopp's side won back-to-back league titles.


Kagawa's first season at United was a campaign of firsts. He was the first Japanese player to sign for the club, the first Japanese player to win a Premier League title and the first Asian to score a hat-trick in the Premier League. 

This treble came against Norwich City. Shinji got off the mark by vollying past Bunn from close range, before being set up brilliantly by Wayne Rooney to tap in his second. The third, which is our Goal of the Day, was scored with three minutes to spare and there was even enough time for Rooney to add a long-range fourth as the clock ticked towards 90.


In his debut season, Kagawa made 26 appearances, scored six goals and contributed six assists, and this was despite sustaining a knee injury that kept him sidelined from October to December. He played in numerous landmark games over the course of the season as well, including our title-clinching match at home to Aston Villa and our trophy-lifting game against Swansea City, where he was also voted Man of the Match.

His sophomore campaign as a Red saw Shinji play in 30 matches in all competitions and contribute four assists, three of which came during a purple patch towards the end of the 2013/14 campaign.

Take a look back at Shinji Kagawa's United career.


Kagawa made the return journey to Germany in 2014, where he was reunited with Klopp for his final season as Borussia Dortmund boss. The Japanese remained with the German club for four seasons, before a loan spell with Besiktas, and then a permanent move to Spanish Segunda División outfit, Real Zaragoza.


"I was very satisfied with Shinji. He settled in well and felt comfortable with us." (Sir Alex Ferguson)

“He’s obviously a quality player. Shinji has qualities that other players don’t have. He’s technically very good, he can play in different positions — in the pocket, just behind the midfield — and he scores goals with either foot, so he’s an important player for Manchester United.” (Ryan Giggs)