The new signing from Borussia Dortmund revealed his preference to journalists after returning to Japan having completing the move following his successful medicalManchester United new boy Shinji Kagawa is determined to make a lasting impact at Old Trafford following his move from Borussia Dortmund.
The 23-year-old was the subject of interest from major clubs from around the world after impressing this season for the Bundesliga champions. However, Sir Alex Ferguson moved quickly to secure the signing of the Japan midfielder.
Kagawa is now eagerly anticipating getting started for the Red Devils and insists he wants to carve out his own legacy at Old Trafford after turning down the chance to wear the famed No.7 shirt once donned with such distinction by George Best, David Beckham, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
United's latest signing announced the decision in an impromptu press conference at Tokyo's Narita Airport following a whirlwind trip to England.
In addition to a flock of journalists, the Japan international was greeted by 100 fans seeking autographs and handshakes.
"I've just joined the team and haven't accomplished anything yet," Kagawa said after the 12-hour flight. "I want to make a name for myself [at United] on my own terms."
Kagawa further elaborated that he had asked for a number with personal meaning, leading to speculation among Japanese media that the player could wear the 8, 26, or 29 he once wore at Cerezo Osaka, or the 23 shirt that brought him fame at Dortmund.
"I don't know which numbers are free," Kagawa coyly told reporters. "I gave them my requests, but they aren't as important a number [as No. 7]"
Despite the rigorous travel schedule, the Samurai Blue star still appeared excited after finally putting pen to paper on the move.
"The contract was as long as I'd expected from a club [like United]," Kagawa laughed. "When I was at [Old Trafford], I thought about how incredible it would be if I could score there."