Arguably the biggest star in Japan's World Cup squad, Shinji Kagawa will be key to Blue Samurai's chances in Brazil with his vision and accurate passing. He may not be holding down a regular starting place for Manchester United, but expect to see Kagawa linking up with Keisuke Honda to great effect in Brazil with his goal threat from midfield complimeted by his movement off the ball and technique with it.
Kagawa was playing the beautiful game as a five-year-old and spent time as a youth player at Marino Football Club, Kobe NK Football Club and FC Miyagi Barcelona before Cerezo Osaka noticed his talent and signed him at the age of 17. He began to attract attention from Europe when he was named top scorer of J. League Division 2 in 2009 and signed for Borussia Dortmund a year later after 125 appearances and 55 goals for Cerezo Osaka.
Despite missing half of his first Bundesliga season, Kagawa managed to score 8 goals in 18 appearances to help Dortmund win the title. He was equally as effective in his second season in Germany, scoring 13 goals in 31 Bundesliga games to help his side clinch another championship and was on the score-sheet as well as providing an assist for Dortmund against rivals Bayern Munich in their 2012 DFB-Pokal Final triumph.
After a successful spell in Germany, Kagawa made the move to Manchester United where he became the first Japanese player to both score a hat-trick in the Premier League and lift the title. He has currently scored 6 goals in 38 games for the Red Devils, but has had limited game time in the 2013/14 season.
Shinji Kagawa was not part of Japan's 2010 World Cup squad, but has scored 19 goals in 57 appearances for his country. He was a key figure in their 2011 AFC Asian Cup triumph despite missing the final through injury and got on the score-sheet in Brazil when Japan lost 4-3 to Italy in the 2013 Confederations Cup.
Shinji Kagawa World Cup Betting Tips
A truly gifted footballer, Shinji Kagawa is more than capable of taking any chances which come his way as well as being a prime candidate for Assist betting. The fact that he is likely to be on spot-kicks makes him an interesting proposition in both First Goalscorer and Anytime Goalscorer markets for each of Japan's Group C games.