Shinji Kagawa: My Man Utd career was over once Sir Alex retired

Shinji Kagawa felt Sir Alex Ferguson leaving Manchester United was the end of his Old Trafford career.

The Japanese star joined from Borussia Dortmund and was very highly-rated following his stint in Germany. Kagawa moved to the Premier League giants in 2012 and played 26 games in his first season. But shortly after that successful campaign Ferguson called time on his managerial career.

David Moyes came in and continued to use the playmaker, but the lure of working for Ferguson was no longer there and the 33-year-old would return to Dortmund just two years after moving to England.

Kagawa told De Morgen: “I had the privilege of working with Ferguson for a year which was a great honour. I wanted to work with him longer, but fate decreed otherwise. It was a very beautiful period. Ferguson really wanted me in; I’ll never forget that.

“At the time, I didn’t think about that, that I was working with such a legend. Now I realize much better who he really is. If I’m honest, my first year at Manchester United was okay. We won the title, but that was because of Robin van Persie. He scored 26 goals that season. I didn’t have as much confidence anymore as I did during my passage at Dortmund.

“The adjustment in England was not always easy; there were sometimes doubts. A new language, system, coach, environment. Ferguson left after my first year, and I really didn’t see that coming. It was Ferguson who brought me to Manchester, eh. I thought I could work with him for at least another year.”

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