COMMON GOAL

Kagawa becomes the first Asian player to join Common Goal

Borussia Dortmund star Shinji Kagawa will pledge at least 1% of his salary to charity after signing up to Juan Mata's Common Goal initiative.

Kagawa becomes the first Asian player to join Common Goal
ALKIS KONSTANTINIDIS REUTERS

Japan international and former Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa has joined Juan Mata's Common Goal charity project.

The 28-year-old, a former team-mate of Mata's at United, is the 18th football player or coach to join the pledge to donate at least 1% of their salary to charity.

Common Goal is a charitable movement run by Streetfootballworld, launched with the support of Juan Mata. It aims to unite footballers behind a shared commitment to give back.

Kagawa: "I want to support others through the game"

The Japanese is the first Asian footballer to commit to the Common Goal project.

"Football has given me so many opportunities in life and now I want to play my role in supporting others through the game," said Kagawa in a video post on Twitter.

"Common Goal is quickly growing around the world and I'm proud to help lead the movement forward in Japan.

"I've been fortunate enough to have football lead me all over the world... If there's one constant I've witnessed throughout the journey, it has to be passion.

"Football inspires and excites people like nothing else on the planet, and what I love about Common Goal is that it channels this passion in a way that makes a real difference to disadvantaged communities around the world."

Mata: "What a fantastic person he is"

Juan Mata, who played alongside Kagawa for half a season after joining United in January 2014, showed his delight at welcoming the Japanese to Common Goal.

"His name came immediately to my mind when we started thinking about Common Goal and how to make the movement global," Mata said through a video on his Twitter account.

"He was the first Japanese that ever played in Manchester United, he was as well the first Japanese that won the Premiere League, and now he is the first player that is bringing Common Goal to Japan.

"I welcome today my friend, a great player and an even better person, Shinji Kagawa. Thank you for joining my friend and welcome."

Other players and coaches that have joined Common Goal

Along with Kagawa, 17 other football figures have signed up to Common Goal.

Mats Hummels, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Giorgio Chiellini, Serge Gnabry, Dennis Aogo, Alex Brosque, Hasan Ali Kaldirim, Charlie Daniels, Alfie Mawson, Olga Garcia, Jean Sseninde, Nicole Regnier, Heather O’Reilly, Vero Boquete, Pauline Bremer and coach Julian Nagelsmann, have all joined the movement.