Kagawa hails idol Park
Midfielder says Park Ji-sung blazed a trail for Asian footballers
Last Updated: July 27, 2012 10:26am
Shinji Kagawa: The Manchester United midfielder celebrating his first goal for the club in their pre-season friendly win over Shanghai Shenhua
Shinji Kagawa is determined to follow in the footsteps of his idol Park Ji-sung and become a Manchester United stalwart.
A £17million buy from Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund, the 23-year-old has taken little time to settle into his new surroundings.
The Japan midfielder got his United career off to a flying start with the only goal in Wednesday's 1-0 pre-season friendly win over Shanghai Shenhua earning him rave reviews from boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
But Kagawa insists he still has a long way to go before he can consider himself as big a star as Park, who ended his seven-year stay at United when left for QPR this summer.
"This is only the beginning for me," Kagawa told the Daily Mirror. "But Park Ji-sung is the best player Asia has ever produced - there's no doubt about that.
"He played regularly for United for a long time and I can't be sure how long it will take me to establish myself in the team like him. But I will always work hard to do so.
"Watching him play for United motivated me a lot. I began to truly believe Asian players could play in big clubs.
"I was expecting we could help each other and play together at United. It's a shame that he left.
"But, like Park, I will focus every day on training and do my best to stay here a long time."