Japan Asian Players in Europe

Shinji Kagawa joins Common Goal initiative

Borussia Dortmund and Japan national team star Shinji Kagawa on Thursday announced his participation in Common Goal, an initiative in which football players pledge to donate one percent of their salary to charity.

Founded by Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata, the movement now counts German international Mats Hummels, US women’s national team stars Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, and Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini amongst its participants.

“Football has given me so many opportunities in life and now I want to play my role in supporting others through the game,” Kagawa said in a taped statement posted to Twitter.

In an entry posted to his official blog, Kagawa revealed that he was approached by Mata, a former teammate of his at United, to participate in Common Goal.

“As players what we do on the pitch is important, but so is how we spend our time (off the pitch),” the 28-year-old wrote.

Kagawa is the first Japanese player as well as the first Asian player to announce his participation in Common Goal.