The Manchester United playmaker is hoping that his national side will give a good account of themselves in Brazil and at least match their record of reaching the knockout stages
Shinji Kagawa has urged his Japan team-mates to show their quality at the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.
The Manchester United playmaker is set to feature in his first World Cup over the next few weeks, with Japan grouped alongside Colombia, Greece and Cote d’Ivoire.
Together with the likes of Keisuke Honda, Shinji Okazaki and Yuto Nagatomo, Kagawa will be expected to play a key role as his nation aim get out of Group C and at least equal their previous best display of reaching the last 16.
The former Borussia Dortmund man is eager to show the strength of Japanese football in Brazil, and Alberto Zaccheroni’s side can take confidence from scoring eight goals in their three warm-up matches against Cyprus, Costa Rica and Zambia.
“This is the first World Cup I have competed in. All we have to do is be fully prepared for our first game,” said Kagawa.
“Since Japan is little known in football in the world, we want to play good football and make a huge impact so that we can make the world realise the presence of the Japan football team.
“Personally, scoring goals creates confidence and I gain the mental stability and get poised from it. And I would like to go into our first game with strength and need to be well prepared to do so.”
Kagawa has struggled regularly to hit top form at Old Trafford, having initially caught the eye at Dortmund where he won two league titles and the DFB-Pokal.
The 25-year-old believes he faces different expectations at United, compared to those he has to deal with at international level.
“I personally think it is a completely different kind of pressure,” he explained.
“When playing for Japan, it means that I carry my country on my shoulders and I feel a different kind of pressure as I am expected to do more when playing for Japan.”