Suddenly the opportunity was there and Michael Zorc moved quickly when Shinji Kagawa made an appearance on the transfer market a day before the end of the transfer window in summer 2014. With this the wonder team of 2011 and 2012 returned to BVB.
Kagawa knows what he has in Dortmund and he has proven what he can do. Between 2010 and 2012 he played 49 Bundesliga matches in which he scored 21 goals, even though he temporarily had to withdraw from the team due to a broken metatarsal. The agile midfielder was one of the key players on the way to the 2011 and 2012 Bundesliga championships and he played a huge part in the DFB Cup win in 2012. Shinji Kagawa scored the opening goal in the 5-2 victory in the final against Bayern Munich.
“He can determine the rhythm of a match” said Hans-Joachim Watzke, “and he absolutely wanted to return to Borussia Dortmund. Here he will find the rest, time and appreciation that he needs in order to reach his highest level once more after two years of irregular starts.”
In summer 2012 Kagawa transferred to Manchester United for personal reasons because the English Premier League is considered an even better opportunity than the Bundesliga in Japan. “I will hold this club, its amazing supporters and the whole town in my heart and will follow the results of BVB very closely” said Kagawa during his farewell and even added that “the Borussia Dortmund chapter is by no means over. It has been two unbelievably incredible and successful years for me in Dortmund and I am very happy and grateful for them.”
After two good years at Manchester United with 38 appearances and 6 goals in the Premier League Shinji Kagawa returned to Dortmund and began his second chapter in black and yellow. “I wanted to fulfil a dream of playing in the Premier League. Now I am more than happy to be back in Dortmund with this great team and the unique fans in this amazing atmosphere. BVB is like a family and I am proud that you never forgot me and that I am allowed to be part of this club again.”
Born in Tarumi-Ku, a municipality of the Japanese city Kobe, Kagawa signed his first contract in 2006 with Cerezo Osaka, a club in the first division, after playing for various youth teams. After the team’s promotion he moved up to the men’s first team in the 2007 season where he quickly made himself an important member of the team scoring 5 goals in 35 games. While the club could not manage a second successive promotion the following year, Kagawa continued his personal development to the top with 16 goals in 35 games.
The final breakthrough came during the 2009 season. Not only did Osaka get promoted to the highest Japanese league after finishing second in the table but Shinji Kagawa ended the campaign with 27 goals from 44 appearances and earned the title of top goal scorer in J. League Division 2. The agile player also maintained his attacking presence when he played in the first division.
Similarly, his international career quickly kicked off. He made his first international appearance on 24. May 2008 playing for the U23s against the Ivory Coast, before representing his country at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He scored his first international goal for the Japanese first team five months later in the 1-0 victory against the United Arab Emirates.