Shinji Kagawa: I’m ready to help Man United topple Real Madrid
Shinji Kagawa insists that he is ready to help Manchester United tackle Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday
Shinji Kagawa insists that he is ready to help Manchester United tackle Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League if he is selected.
The Japan international has not featured for the Red Devils since United’s 2-1 win over Southampton at the end of January, when he set up Wayne Rooney for his side’s opener.
Manchester United travel to the Bernabeu on Wednesday night for the first leg of their last-16 clash.
And 23-year-old Kagawa, who has never played in the knockout stages of the Champions League, insists he is ready to deliver if called upon by Sir Alex Ferguson.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Kagawa, who moved to the Red Devils from Borussia Dortmund in the summmer, told United Review.
“If I’m picked I’ll do my best to help the team reach the next stage of the competition.”
He added: “I played in the Champions League with Borussia Dortmund last season but unfortunately we couldn’t perform to our potential. We were too young, we didn’t have enough experience and got knocked out in the group stage.
“However, United has a great history and we finished top of our group this season. The games against Real Madrid are going to be inspiring. It’s tough to play against Real Madrid, though.”
Real Madrid v Man United: Pre-match facts
• Cristiano Ronaldo spent six seasons with United between 2003 and 2009. He scored 118 goals in 292 games, winning one Champions League and three Premier League titles, as well as one FA Cup and two League Cups.
• The sight of Ronaldo facing United for the first time since his departure adds another layer of intrigue to a contest pairing clubs who have met in four previous European Cup ties – with the winners going on to lift the trophy on three occasions.
• Madrid came out on top in three of the clubs’ four previous encounters – in the semi-finals in 1956-57 and quarter-finals in 1999-2000 and 2002-03 – with United prevailing in the 1967/-8 semi-finals.
• Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho are two of only four coaches to reach a century of Champions League games, along with Arsene Wenger and Carlo Ancelotti.