Attacking midfielder Shinji Kagawa, one of Japan’s most successful soccer exports, made a passionate plea for a transfer to Spain on Tuesday amidst his struggles with German outfit Borussia Dortmund.
Kagawa was a key part of the celebrated Dortmund side that won back-to-back titles in the German League at the start of the decade but has found himself unable to get regular first-team playing time under manager Lucian Favre.
“Over the past two to three years, I have always been thinking about what I can do to go to Spain,” the 29-year old told Nikkan Sports.
“I cannot end my career as a football player without going to Spain. I absolutely want to achieve that.”
The Japan international had a brief spell with Manchester United at Old Trafford, but also found himself on the fringes there and returned to Dortmund in 2014 hoping to rebuild his confidence.
But injuries and an influx of younger talent have left him out of favor at the high-flying German side, which sits atop the Bundesliga table unbeaten with nine wins out of 12 matches.
“I want to find a solution to this situation. One is to change teams,” Kagawa said.
“I have this growing sense of wishing to change my environment and take on new challenges,” he said.
“I have nothing to lose. I am confident that I can shine in the next stage of my career,” he said of a possible transfer to Spain, adding that a spell in La Liga would be “the biggest challenge of my career.”